Nevada U.S. attorney makes cybercrime a priority

The Nevada U.S. attorney’s office is hosting a symposium Wednesday in Las Vegas on the rise in cybercrime across the nation.

“Cybercrime right now is becoming the greatest threat to our country,” U.S. Attorney of Nevada Daniel Bogden said Monday. “Cybercrime not only affects national security interests, it affects our economic prosperity and well being, and it’s turned into a major safety issue.”

About 200 law enforcement officers, casino security chiefs and businesspeople have been invited to the one-day conference, which is being co-sponsored by the FBI and Homeland Security Department. A similar symposium will be in Reno on June 18.

According to Bogden, the FBI received 262,813 consumer complaints about Internet crimes, including intrusions and identify theft, totaling $782 million in losses in 2012. That was a 48.8 percent increase in losses reported the previous year.

Cybercrime has become a priority for Bogden’s office and the Justice Department nationwide.

The U.S. attorney’s office has investigated several cybercrime cases, including the massive case against the international syndicate known as Carder.su. A total of 55 group members, including its Russian leaders, were charged in four separate indictments in early 2012 in what prosecutors said was the first time federal racketeering statutes were used against a cybercrime syndicate.

The sophisticated group, which found Las Vegas an ideal place to operate, is alleged to have committed more than $50 million worth of financial fraud and probably would have caused three times more losses had it not been broken up, according to prosecutors.

The indictments were the result of a 4½-year investigation, code-named Operation Open Market, which took off in 2007 after Michael Adams, a Secret Service agent based in Las Vegas, went undercover and infiltrated the organization.

More than 20 defendants taken into custody have pleaded guilty in the unprecedented criminal case, but two dozen defendants, including the group’s Russian leaders, Roman Zolotarev and Konstantin Lopatin, are still at large.

Contact reporter Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Follow him on Twitter @JGermanRJ.


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