US Court Sentences Russian Lawmaker’s Son to 27 Years in Jail for Hacking

The son of a prominent Russian lawmaker was sentenced on Friday by a US federal court to 27 years in prison after being convicted of stealing millions of US credit card numbers and causing some $170 million in damages to businesses and individuals.

This sentence is so far the longest sentence ever imposed in the United States for a hacking-related case.

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, 32, the son of a Russian Parliament member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Valery Seleznev, was arrested in 2014 while attempting to board a flight in the Maldives and then extradited to the United States.

Upon arrest, federal authorities retrieved a computer that contained over 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers.

Seleznev, also went by the moniker ‘Track2’ online, was convicted in August 2016 of 38 charges related to stolen credit card details, which include:

  • 10 counts of Wire Fraud
  • 9 counts of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices
  • 9 counts of obtaining information from a Protected Computer
  • 8 counts of Intentional Damage to a Protected Computer
  • 2 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft

Longest Ever Hacking-Related Sentence in the United States

In federal court in Seattle, the government asked for a 30-year prison term for 38 counts, saying Seleznev not only helped grow the market for stolen credit card data but also “became one of the most revered point-of-sale [POS] hackers in the criminal underworld.”

Seleznev – and potentially other cyber criminals who are unknown to the authorities – developed a hacking scheme that used automated techniques to hack into POS machines in retailers and install malware to steal copies of credit card numbers.

The lists of millions of stolen credit card numbers were then sold on various online “carding” websites and the dark web. Prosecutors said his hacking campaign hit more than 3,700 businesses.

Before his sentencing, Seleznev asked US District Court Judge Richard Jones for leniency, urging the judge to consider his medical issues, the result of being caught and injured in 2011 terrorist bombing, in deciding his prison term.

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