HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — Henderson Police assisted in an investigation that led to a malware author pleading guilty in a case that resulted in more than $568 million in losses. The suspect is a member of the Infraud Organization, a transnational cybercrime organization responsible for the losses.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), there were millions of victims across all 50 states, including individuals, merchants and financial institutions.
The suspect is thirty-year-old Valerian Chiochiu, who goes by several different names: “Onassis,” “Flagler,” “Socrate,” and Eclessiastes.” The Moldovan national pled guilty to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act conspiracy. He lived in the US over the course of the conspiracy.
The DOJ says Infraud Organization obtained, sold and disseminated stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware and other contraband.
Chiochiu reportedly provided guidance to other members on the development, deployment and use of malware to use for gathering stolen data.
“Over the course of seven years, Infraud and its alleged conspirators created a sophisticated cybercriminal racketeering scheme that victimized individuals, merchants, and financial institutions to the tune of over half a billion dollars in losses,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in a news release. “The Justice Department is committed to unmasking cyber criminals and their criminal organizations that use the internet for fraudulent schemes.”
Infraud’s co-founder and administrator Sergey Medvedev of Russia pleaded guilty on June 26. The DOJ says Medvedev founded the organization with 34-year-old Svyatoslav Bondarenko of Ukraine in October 2010. Bondarenko remains a fugitive.
The organization’s slogan was “In Fraud We Trust.” It had 10,901 registered members in March 2017 and caused around $2.2 billion in intended losses over its seven-year history.
Henderson Police teamed up with the Las Vegas Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations during the investigation.
Chiochiu’s sentencing is slated for Dec. 11.