OTTAWA -- The RCMP says a Canadian-based company that peddled an illicit trove of 1.5 billion user names and associated passwords has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

In a news release, the Mounties say Defiant Tech Inc. admitted in court Friday to trafficking in identity information and possession of property obtained by crime a year after charges were laid in the probe.

The investigation began three years ago, when the RCMP learned the website LeakedSource was being hosted on servers in Quebec.

The website, now shut down, had a total of some three billion pieces of data for sale, earning the company about $247,000.

The Mounties say they had valuable help from the Dutch national police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on the probe.

At a January 2018 news conference announcing the charges, the RCMP said the force believed that several Canadians were affected -- there was no precise number -- and might still be at risk due to the information being available online through various dark-web sites.

The extensive database was assembled using personal information stolen by hackers in recent years from domains like networking site LinkedIn and extramarital-affair hub, the police force said.