Eleven charged in $200 million credit-card data theft

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Eight people in Vietnam and three in the U.K. were charged in a crackdown on an organized crime group that ran one of the world's largest Web forums devoted to selling stolen credit card data, U.K. authorities said.

The website, which had 16,000 members, facilitated more than $200 million of credit card fraud by hacking businesses and stealing data relating to 1.1 million cards, the London-based Serious Organized Crime Agency said on May 5 in a statement.

The eight arrested in Vietnam were "members of the organized crime group behind the website," while the three charged in the U.K. were "significant forum users," according to SOCA.

One of the Vietnamese leaders, Duy Hai Truong, 23, of Ho Chi Minh City, was charged by the Justice Department in New Jersey with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

"One of the world's major facilitation networks for online card fraud has been dismantled by this operation, and those engaged in this type of crime should know they are neither anonymous, nor beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies," SOCA said in the statement.

The website, named "mattfeuter," gave members access through a secure login and let them specify the type of credit-card data they wanted to buy, offering discounts for bulk purchases, according to SOCA.

The crackdown was made possible by a 2009 law in Vietnam that made it a crime to use fraud to obtain credit-card data, according to SOCA.

Search warrants produced "more than 1.1 million unique credit card numbers, including information relating to numerous victims residing in New Jersey," according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest complaint for Truong.

The Truong case is U.S. v. Truong, 13-mj-06080, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

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