Nevada Prosecutor And Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Receive Awards For Their Work On Cybercrime Case
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Kimberly Frayn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada and Special Agent Michael P. Adams of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Las Vegas, received awards today in Phoenix, Ariz., from the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators for the investigation and prosecution of members of a highly sophisticated international cybercrime organization known as “Carder.su,” announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and Michael Harris, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for HSI Las Vegas.
AUSA Frayn received the William D. Neumann Prosecutor of the Year Award for her efforts as the primary prosecutor in the Nevada case, known as, “Operation Open Market.” The Award acknowledges prosecutors who have shown exceptional diligence, cooperation and tenacity, and who have made significant contributions to financial fraud prevention.
Special Agent Adams received the Cyber Investigations Contributor of the Year award for his efforts as the case agent in Operation Open Market. The Award acknowledges Agent Adams’ cyber investigative skills which significantly aided in the apprehension, arrest and prosecution of the suspects.
“It pleases me that AUSA Frayn and Special Agent Adams have been recognized by an international association for their superior work and efforts in fighting financial fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The investigation and prosecution of a cybercrime case requires special skills and expertise, as well as diligence and tenaciousness of character. AUSA Frayn and Special Agent Adams have all of those qualities combined, which has led to successful court cases and convictions.”
“These awards are richly deserved and reflect the extraordinary amount of work both the agent and prosecutor invested in this complex and far-reaching case,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Harris. “There’s no question their collaborative efforts are in large measure responsible for the successful outcome of this investigation. For prosecutors and investigators, seeing career criminals like the defendants in this case brought to justice is its own reward, but having those efforts recognized in such a public way makes the outcome even more gratifying.”
Special Agent Adams assumed the identity as a member of the Carder.su organization when it was in its infancy. The investigation determined that its members or “carders,” were involved in large scale trafficking of compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identifications and credit cards, as well as money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and various types of computer crime. The organization operated an internet web portal called a forum, where members could purchase the illicitly obtained data and share knowledge of various fraud schemes. A second forum was also created to vet incoming new members. The forums were generally hosted within the former Soviet Union and the upper echelon of the organization resides within the former Soviet Union. It was estimated that in July 2011, there were over 5,500 members of the organization. Members of the organization had different roles, including moderators who directed other members in carrying out activities; reviewers who examined and tested products, services, and contraband; vendors who advertised and sold products, services and contraband; and members. Members were required to successfully complete a number of security features designed to protect the organization from infiltration by law enforcement or members of rival criminal organizations.
Operation Open Market resulted in federal criminal charges against 56 individuals. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, trafficking in compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identifications, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and computer crimes. To date, 25 individuals have been convicted, and the rest are either fugitives or are pending trial in Las Vegas.The International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) is a non-profit organization with over 4,000 members whose mission is to identify and prevent financial crimes utilizing new technologies and investigative techniques. The Association has 40 Chapters worldwide.