The US Justice Department has announced that a 32-year-old Russian “superhacker” has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for stealing and selling millions of credit-card numbers.
Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, 32, aka Track2, son of a prominent Russian politician, caused more than $169 million worth of damage to business and financial institutions in his hacks, the DoJ claims.
He was convicted last year on 38 counts of computer intrusion and credit card fraud.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said that his investigation, conviction, and sentence demonstrates that the United States will bring the full force of the American justice system upon cybercriminals like Seleznev who victimize US citizens and companies from afar.
“And we will not tolerate the existence of safe havens for these crimes – we will identify cybercriminals from the dark corners of the internet and bring them to justice.”
The son of a Russian politician was convicted for trying to hack US businesses to steal and sell credit card numbers.
The scam apparently cost financial institutions more than $169 million, so he must have been pretty good at it.
Roman Seleznev, also known as “Track2,” was found guilty by a federal jury in Seattle on 38 of 40 counts including wire fraud and intentional damage to a protected computer following an eight-day trial, prosecutors said.
Seleznev hails from Vladivostok and was dragged from his home in the Maldives by US spooks in what he called a kidnapping.
Seleznev, the son of Valery Seleznev, a member of the Russian Parliament, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2. His minimum sentence will be four years in prison.
Browne said Seleznev, 32, plans to appeal and challenge what he called Seleznev’s illegal arrest in the Maldives and a ruling that allowed prosecutors to introduce evidence from a corrupted laptop seized at the time of his arrest.
“I don’t know of any case that has allowed such outrageous behaviour,” Browne said.
Prosecutors said that from October 2009 to October 2013, Seleznev hacked into retail point-of-sale systems and installed malware to steal credit card numbers from businesses, including restaurants and pizza parlours in Washington state. He will not get much sympathy there – many of them were forced to close after the hacks.
Seleznev sold the credit card information on various “carding” websites. Buyers in turn used the card numbers for fraudulent purchases, they said, causing 3,700 financial institutions to lose more than $169 million.
Valery Seleznev insisted his son did not know a thing about computers, although how he explained why all the stolen card details were found on his laptop is anyone’s guess. Instead of worrying about the crime he waded into the US government for ignoring international extradition arrangements. It seems that everyone is focusing on the method of arrest rather than the poor pizza shop owners who had to close because of his antics.