By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - A federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three entities Friday for alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment prepared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged all with conspiracy to defraud the United States by seeking to undermine the Federal Election Commission, the Department of Justice and the Department of State.
It "serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the Internet”, said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in announcing the indictment.
"The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed," he said during a brief appearance before the media.
In addition to charging the 16 defendants with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., Internet Research Agency, a Russian company based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and two individuals are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
Four defendants and Internet Research Agency are also charged with aggravated identity theft.