An indictment filed in Columbia, South Carolina alleges the criminal acts and intents of two Iranian nationals, Arash Amiri Abedian and Danial Jeloudar.

Their alleged conspiring began around October 2007. Between 2011 and 2016, Abedian allegedly used malware to obtain credit card and other personal information from certain merchants. The information collected was then allegedly used to commit identity theft and to obtain goods, services and money from several victims through means of extortion and fraud. The information Abedian allegedly stole was then transmitted to Jeloudar.

The indictment indicates that Jeloudar used stolen information to order and obtain equipment, internet hosting services and servers from a South Carolina provider. Later, in January 2017, Jeloudar allegedly contacted and threatened an online merchant based in California. The threats declared that the personal information gathered by hacking their website would be revealed and customers told about their compromised information if the merchant did not make a Bitcoin payment. Jeloudar then proceeded to launch a denial-of-service attack on the California-based merchant’s website.

The case was investigated by the Cyber Squad based in South Carolina. Prosecutors include Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Klum of District of South Carolina as well as the trial attorney, Heather Aplino of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.