The son of a Russian lawmaker has been sentenced to 27 years in a US prison for hacking into retail POS systems and stealing millions of credit card numbers which he then sold on to other crooks.
Roman Seleznev, aka Track2, was convicted last August of 38 counts related to his scheme, which resulted in the loss of more than $169 million, spread across 3700 financial institutions.
Seleznev hacked into the POS systems at small businesses, including pizza parlours in Washington state, installing malware and stealing card data which was then sent to servers that he controlled in Russia, the Ukraine and McLean, Virginia. He then bundled the credit card information into groups and sold it on various dark market carding websites to buyers who used it for fraudulent purchases.
Seleznev was arrested in the Maldives in 2014 after being tracked by the US Secret Service for nearly a decade. His laptop contained more than 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers as well as other evidence. He is accused of making tens of millions of dollars from his crimes.
Seleznev's father is a member of the lower house of Russia’s parliament and an ally of President Putin. At the time, Russia called the arrest a "kidnapping" according to Reuters.
In August, Seleznev's lawyer, John Henry Browne, told Reuters that he planned to appeal and challenge the "illegal" arrest. However, in a handwritten letter since submitted to court the Russian admitted to and apologised for his crimes.
US Attorney Annette Hayes, says: "The notion that the Internet is a Wild West where anything goes is a thing of the past. As Mr. Seleznev has now learned, and others should take note - we are working closely with our law enforcement partners around the world to find, apprehend, and bring to justice those who use the internet to steal and destroy our peace of mind.
"Whether the victims are multi-national banks or small pizza joints, we are all victims when our day-to-day transactions result in millions of dollars ending up in the wrong hands."