“In Fraud We Trust” was the slogan of the Infraud Organization, according to a federal indictment unsealed Feb. 7. The group wanted to be known as the Internet’s leading location for carding—buying retail items with counterfeit and stolen credit cards. The group allegedly conducted large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband, according to a Justice Department announcement.
Infraud members used an online discussion forum to “discuss, meet, and conduct criminal activities,” and to advertise them, the indictment said. As of March 2017, there were 10,901 member accounts on the forum. The group “targeted more than 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts held by individuals around the world and in all 50 states,” said David Rybicki, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department Criminal Division, in a statement.
“Today’s indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyberfraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. The prosecution resulted from the Operation Shadow Web investigation conducted by U.S., European, Australian and Asian law enforcement.
Created in 2010, “Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale,” Cronan said. According to the indictment, Infraud directed buyers to its members’ automated vending sites, using them as “online conduits” to deal in in stolen IDs, banking information, malicious software, and illicit goods. The group also provided members services such as laundering proceeds using digital currencies, screening sellers to ensure the quality of vendors of stolen cards, identity information, and other contraband.
After a Las Vegas grand jury returned the nine-count indictment, federal, state, local, and international law enforcement authorities arrested 13 defendants from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia. Defendants named in the indictment also reside in Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ukraine, Bangladesh, the Russian Federation, Moldova, Macedonia and Pakistan.
Cronan, of the the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, was joined in announcing the indictment by U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada, and Acting Executive Associate Director Derek N. Benner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).