LAS VEGAS, Nevada – One of the leaders of the Infraud Organization pleaded guilty Friday to Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Action (RICO) conspiracy following an investigation lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department.
Infraud was an Internet-based cybercriminal enterprise engaged in the 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.
Sergey Medvedev, aka “Stells,” “segmed,” “serjbear,” 33, of the Russian Federation, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan in the District of Nevada. According to the indictment, the Infraud Organization was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko aka “Obnon,” “Rector,” and “Helkern,” 34, of Ukraine, to promote and grow interest in the Infraud Organization as the premier destination for “carding” – purchasing retail items with counterfeit or stolen credit card information – on the Internet. Under the slogan, “In Fraud We Trust,” the organization directed traffic and potential purchasers to the automated vending sites of its members, which served as online conduits to traffic in stolen means of identification, stolen financial and banking information, malware, and other illicit goods. It also provided an escrow service to facilitate illicit digital currency transactions among its members and employed screening protocols that purported to ensure only high quality vendors of stolen cards, personally identifiable information, and other contraband were permitted to advertise to members. In March 2017, there were 10,901 registered members of the Infraud Organization.
During the course of its seven-year history, the Infraud Organization inflicted approximately $2.2 billion in intended losses, and more than $568 million in actual losses, on a wide swath of financial institutions, merchants, and private individuals, and would have continued to do so for the foreseeable future if left unchecked.
The investigation was conducted by the Las Vegas Office of HSI and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Thailand. Deputy Chief Kelly Pearson and Trial Attorneys Chad W. McHenry and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.