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Californians among sentencings for half-billion-dollar cybercrime scheme

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two Californians are part of a group of people sentenced to federal prison for a transnational cybercrime enterprise, Infraud.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)says 32-year-old malware developer Valerian Chiochiu, aka Onassis, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and 35-year-old ATM skimmer Jose Gamboa, aka Rafael101, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

They are accused of working with a New York man and other suspects from outside the U.S. to defraud victims of more than a half-billion dollars.

The New Yorker was sentenced this month to four years in prison for purchasing stolen or compromised credit cards and assisting other members of the Infraud Organization in monetizing its fraudulent activity.

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DOJ says the Infraud Organization is "a transnational cybercrime enterprise engaged in the mass acquisition and sale of fraud-related goods and services, including stolen identities, compromised credit card data, computer malware, and other contraband."

According to court documents the enterprise claimed more than 10,000 "members" at its peak and operated for more than seven years under the slogan "In Fraud We Trust."

DOJ says, "The Infraud Organization is responsible for the purchase and sale of over four million stolen credit and debit card numbers. This scheme cost victims more than $568 million dollars."

37-year-old John Telusma, aka Peterelliot, of Brooklyn was sentenced Wednesday after he pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to racketeering conspiracy on October 13, 2021. According to court documents, the defendant joined Infraud in August 2011, maintaining his membership for five years. DOJ says, "Telusma was among the most prolific and active members of the Infraud Organization, purchasing and fraudulently using compromised credit card numbers for his own personal gain."

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DOJ says Telusma is the 14th defendant held accountable for the Infraud scheme. Telusma’s co-defendants previously sentenced include:

  • Infraud co-founder Sergey Medvedev, 34, aka Stells, of Russia, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison;
  • Malware developer Valerian Chiochiu, 32, aka Onassis, of California, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison;
  • VIP Member Arnaldo Sanchez Torteya, 35, aka Elroncoluna, of Mexico, who was sentenced to eight years in prison;
  • VIP Member Edgar Rojas, 31 aka Guapo, of Venezuela, who was sentenced to eight years in prison;
  • ATM skimmer Jose Gamboa, 35, aka Rafael101, of California, who was sentenced to eight years in prison; and
  • VIP Member Pius Wilson, 35 aka FDIC, of New York, who was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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