Arrests announced after investigation into €430m global cyber identity fraud ring
The group worked under the slogan "In Fraud We Trust"
The U.S. Justice Department announced one of its largest-ever takedowns of a global cyber crime ring on Wednesday, saying it had indicted 36 people accused of trafficking in stolen identities and causing more than $530 million in losses to consumers.
The cyber crime network, known as "In Fraud," operated a sophisticated scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale of Social Security numbers, birthdays and passwords that had been stolen from around the world, the department said.
The group worked under the slogan "In Fraud We Trust" and was created in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian, according to the indictment.
In addition to facilitating the sale of stolen information, the department also alleged that the network provided an escrow account so people could launder their proceeds using digital currencies including Bitcoin, Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money and WebMoney.
Of the 36 people indicted, Justice Department officials said that 13 have been arrested in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.
The other defendants remain at large and the investigation is still ongoing, Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki told reporters on a conference call.
He declined to answer a question on whether Bondarenko was in custody, saying only that the defendant is a Ukrainian national and that the investigation is still ongoing
"Today marks a significant step in the battle against transnational cyber crime," he said.