Friday April 21, 2017

Russian Cybercriminal Sentenced to 27 Years for Credit Card Theft

A decade-long investigation, 2014 arrest, and lengthy trial have come to a close today as Russian hacker Roman Valerevich Seleznev was sentenced to serve 27 years in U.S. Federal prison. 3,700 financial institutions and 500 business were victimized by the credit card and identity theft ring which Seleznev had operated out of homes located in Bali, Indonesia, and Russia.

Federal investigators detained Seleznev at the airport of Maldives آ– an island country which worked with the State Department, though no extradition treaty exists آ– with a laptop containing 1.7 million credit card numbers. Other seized items included pictures of Seleznev living a lavish lifestyle, as well as him posed with stacks of Russian currency.

Leading up to sentencing, an 11-page handwritten letter was submitted to the federal court by Seleznev admitting guilt and apologizing for his crimes. Prosecutors recommended a 30-year sentence. One could conclude he and his attorney, were attempting to play at the emotions of the judge presiding over the case, especially after this statement:

"Mr. Seleznev is ready at any time to use his experience and skills in helping the government stopping cybercrime," attorney Igor Litvak wrote.

It sounds like Mr. Seleznev could have used a better attorney during the plea bargain stage of the case, since he is offering to help the government after the sentencing phase had already begun.