Digital Currency Guru of $568M Cyber Fraud Forum Pleads Guilty

Sergey Medvedev pleaded guilty to racketeering charges as part of a $568 million payment card fraud forum, which used Liberty Reserve and bitcoin to launder funds.

AccessTimeIconJun 29, 2020 at 10:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:57 a.m. UTC

Sergey Medvedev, a Russian national who operated a digital currency escrow service for the $568 million payment card fraud forum he founded in 2010, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in what the U.S. government called its largest ever cyber fraud case. 

Medvedev, 33, admitted in his June 26 plea before the U.S. District Court for Nevada that he founded and ran the Infraud Organization, an international cybercrime enterprise that facilitated the sale of credit card and equipment theft, malware and stolen account information during its eight-year reign.

He also acknowledged running a "digital currency" exchange and escrow service for Infraud’s 10,901 members. A 2018 indictment stated Infraud members used the now-defunct Liberty Reserve and bitcoin, among other “digital currencies,” to launder their funds. 

The June plea does not mention the extent to which Medvedev’s exchange service transacted in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. It states that Medvedev accrued $1.04 million in Liberty Reserve digital currency through May 2013. 

In total, Infraud facilitated the sale of 4 million compromised payment card numbers and caused an actual loss of $568 million dollars to its victims, American Express, Visa, MasterCard and others, Medvedev admitted. 

The Department of Justice shut down Infraud in February 2018 and subsequently indicted 36 members of the organization as part of Operation Shadow Web.

At the time of his arrest in Thailand in 2018, Medvedev was estimated to be in possession of more than 100,000 bitcoin, according to the Bangkok Post.

Medvedev’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 9.

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