A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian military officials on charges of identity theft, conspiracy to hack computers and money laundering associated with cyber intrusions to interfere with the U.S. presidential elections in 2016.
The indictment includes 11 counts of criminal charges and a forfeiture allegation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement posted Friday.
The Russian officers allegedly worked for the Russian intelligence directorate known as GRU, launched hacking and “spearphishing” campaigns to steal data, and came up with fake online personas such as “Gufficer 2.0” and “DCLeaks” to disclose to the public thousands of stolen documents and emails that started in June 2016.
Rosenstein noted that investigation into the 2016 election interference by the special counsel is ongoing and that “there is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime”.
The indictment also lacks allegation that the conspiracy resulted in the alteration of election results or vote count.
Rosenstein said he and John Demers, assistant attorney general, plan to hand over to the Justice Department’s national security division the responsibility over the case while they wait for the arrest of the indicted individuals.