Federal authorities on Wednesday announced dozens of arrests in connection with a Henderson-based investigation into a global cybercrime ring that allegedly defrauded people around the world of more than $530 million.
Thirty-six people from 17 countries are accused of being part of an online criminal enterprise known as the Infraud Organization, which used the slogan “In Fraud We Trust” and allegedly participated in the dissemination of stolen identities and compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband.
The indictment was announced by authorities with the Justice Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
“The U.S. attorney’s office is steadfastly committed to protecting America’s national and economic security,” Nevada’s interim U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson said in a conference call with reporters. “Criminals cannot hide behind their computer screens. We are working vigilantly with American and international law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt transnational cybercrime organizations, such as the Infraud Organization.”
The case, dubbed Operation Shadow Web, will be prosecuted in Nevada, Elieson added, “because a certain level of investigative expertise has been developed in this district.”
She pointed to a southern Nevada investigation that led to charges against 55 people tied to a credit card fraud syndicate known as “Carder.su,” which authorities said trafficked stolen identities and cost victims more than $50 million. In that case, hundreds of thousands of Americans and several financial institutions were victimized by the Carder.su organization, which had more than 7,800 members worldwide.
None of the defendants named in the Infraud Organization indictment is from Nevada. Should the members of the organization be convicted, the racketeering, conspiracy and other charges carry decades behind bars.
Infraud was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, also known by the pseudonyms “Obnon,” “Rector,” and “Helkern,” 34, of Ukraine and affected more than 9,000 victims, according to the Justice Department.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki called the enterprise “truly the premier one-stop shop for cyber criminals worldwide,” having compromised more than 1.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts. “The charges and arrests today are a victory for the rule of law.”