The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently indicted 11 people on numerous charges for their roles in stealing over 40 million credit and debit card numbers from major retailers, including Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Boston Market, DSW, Forever 21, OfficeMax, Sports Authority, and TJX Companies.

The accused are from the U.S., Belarus, Estonia, the People’s Republic of China, and Ukraine. The DOJ said that one individual is unknown to them other than that person's online alias.

One of the accused, Albert Gonzalez of Miami, was previously arrested in 2003 for computer-related crimes and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted of all current charges.

"So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in this country," said Attorney General Mukasey.

The indictments were handed down in California, Massachusetts, and New York. Gonzales is already in custody and several others are being held in Turkey, and Germany and the government is currently seeking extradition.