The leader of a $568 million cyber-criminal cartel pleaded guilty
On June 26, a Russian citizen, behind the Infraud Organization, a cybercrime company, pleaded guilty to extortion because of his role as co-founder and administrator of a dark web site based on the illegal use of credit cards, which generated more than $568 million in profits.
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According to the announcement made by the US Department of Justice, or DOJ, Sergey Medvedev, 33, also known by the pseudonyms „Stells“, „segmed“ and „serjbear“, claimed responsibility for his role in the organisation created in October 2010 by a Ukrainian citizen, Svyatoslav Bondarenko.
Medvedev pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court judge James C. Mahan in the District of Nevada.
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The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or Bitcoin System, provides strong criminal penalties for individuals who engage in a „pattern of racketeering“ or „collecting an illegal debt“ and who have a specific relationship with a „business“ that affects interstate or foreign commerce.
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The Department of Justice accused the Infraud Organization of being the „prime destination“ for people who wanted to buy retail items with falsified or stolen credit card information, such transactions being made through crypto-currencies
Escrow service to facilitate illegal transactions
The cyber-criminal cartel also promoted the sale of malware, banking information and illegal products.
It provided a escrow service to facilitate illicit digital money transactions between its members, and employed screening protocols that sought to ensure that only high-quality vendors were allowed to advertise to members.
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The latest figures revealed by the authorities‘ investigation say that the Infraud Organization had about 10,901 registered members.
During its seven-year term, the group inflicted approximately $2.2 billion in projected losses, and more than $568 million in actual damages, on a wide range of financial institutions, merchants and individuals, the Justice Department said.
Medvedev was arrested in 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, with more than 100,000 Bitcoin (BTC), worth $822 million at the time. In the same year, U.S. authorities indicted 36 people on charges in the cyber-criminal enterprise.