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U.S. Offers $3 Million Reward for Alleged Russian Cybercriminals

The U.S. Department of State announced on Thursday that it’s offering a total reward of $3 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of two Russian nationals suspected of being involved in cybercriminal activities.

Roman Olegovich Zolotarev and Konstantin Lopatin are believed to have been involved in the operation of Carder.su, an online forum whose members manufactured and trafficked identification documents and payment cards, and conducted financial fraud and identity theft.

Zolotarev, also known as “Admin,” is said to have been the mastermind behind Carder.su. United States authorities are offering up to $2 million for information on the suspect. Lopatin, also known as “Graf,” was allegedly a key member of the criminal enterprise, and the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) Rewards Program is offering up to $1 million for information leading to his arrest. The suspects are believed to be in Russia.

“We applaud the State Department's decision to feature these fugitives in the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “Members of this group likely thought they could escape detection and elude justice by hiding in cyberspace. We want to prove them wrong.”

Carder.su is believed to have caused losses of at least $50 million. Authorities cracked down on the website in March 2012, when 19 suspects were arrested. So far, 30 members of the criminal organization have been convicted, and another 25 are pending trial or are fugitives.

Last month, the State Department announced offering a $3 million reward for information on Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, believed to be the administrator of the group that created the Gameover Zeus malware.

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.