The de facto kingpin of an online crime bazaar that peddled stolen identities, credit card skimming devices, and many more illicit wares and services was arrested in Thailand by dozens of heavily armed police officers, it was widely reported Friday.
Sergey Medvedev, 31, was co-founder of Infraud, a massive enterprise that acted something like an eBay for criminal buyers and sellers, prosecutors said in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. In 2015, he reportedly became Infraud’s top-ranking administrator when alleged founder Svyatoslav Bondarenko stopped posting to forums under unexplained circumstances. Prosecutors said the group’s tag line was “In fraud we trust.” Justice Department officials said on Wednesday that Medvedev had been arrested but provided no other details.
On Friday, the Associated Press, Agence France, and other news outlets reported Medvedev was arrested on February 2 in Thailand. The reports cited a police statement that said officers seized 29 electronic items from the suspect’s Bangkok apartment and that Infraud’s servers had been seized on Tuesday. The Bangkok Post, citing an unnamed source, said the confiscated items included more than 100,000 bitcoins, currently worth nearly $840 million and valued at substantially more until the recent price correction in digital currencies.
Thai police told reporters that Medvedev traveled in and out of Thailand for the past six years on tourist visas. The police also said the arrest came after they, in cooperation with US authorities, surveilled Medvedev. The suspect remained silent throughout his arrest. He’s currently being held at Bangkok Remand Prison while the US seeks his extradition.
Justice Department officials said Wednesday that Medvedev was one of 13 Infraud suspects that were arrested. The indictment unsealed this week named a total of 36 people charged with racketeering conspiracy and possession of credit card fraud devices.