Anthony Nnamdi Okeakpu, 29, was arrested by British police on behalf of United States authorities for allegedly being a member of the Infraud Organisation, the country's Department for Justice said.
The group is charged with defrauding over $530 million from victims and $2.2 billion in losses, with the majority coming from crimes tied to identity fraud. As of last March, it had nearly 11,000 registered members.
"The Infraud Organization was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko aka 'Obnon, ' aka 'Rector, ' aka '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", noted a DoJ press release.
Administrators managed day-to-day operation of and strategic planning for the organisation, approved and monitored membership, and meted out punishments and rewards to members.
"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. "Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale".
Super moderators on the site "oversaw and administered specific subject matter areas within their expertise", according to USA authorities.
The Justice Department-led action resulted in the arrest of 36 individual in seven countries - 13 defendants in the United States and the remainder in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.
Infraud members used an online discussion forum to "discuss, meet, and conduct criminal activities", and to advertise them, the indictment said.
Infraud featured vendors that offered stolen ID, financial and banking information, as well as malware and other illicit goods, the Department of Justice said. That service was run by Sergey Medvedev, a co-founder of the Infraud site, according to the indictment.
In addition to facilitating the sale of stolen information, the department also alleged the network provided an escrow (temporary third-party) account so people could launder their proceeds using digital currencies including Bitcoin, Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money and WebMoney.
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