Seleznev in happier times with stacks of cash (Image: Department of Justice)
Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker and a prisoner once reportedly dangled in exchange for Edward Snowden, was sentenced to 27 years Friday morning in a milestone that should mark the beginning of the end of a long story in Capitol Hill crime and justice and an international scheme that included ripping off customers of the Broadway Grill. The Department of Justice announced the sentencing following Friday’s federal court hearing in Seattle:
A 32-year-old Vladivostok, Russia, man was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for his computer hacking crimes that caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the Western District of Washington.
Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka Track2, was convicted in August 2016, of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack into point-of-sale computers to steal credit card numbers and sell them on dark market websites. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington imposed the sentence.
“This 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 U.S. citizens and companies from afar,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement. “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.”
Seleznev was convicted last summer in a $1.7 million international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill and the Mad Pizza chain, among other local businesses. In August 2016, a federal jury in Seattle found Seleznev guilty on 38 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faced up to 34 years in prison.
In 2010, the Secret Service detailed that the breach that exposed information from hundreds of credit and bank cards as part of a single-day hack of a vulnerable Capitol Hill restaurant’s point of sales system. The son a Russian politician, Seleznev’s case gained international attention when he was taken into custody by United States law enforcement in 2014 while attempting to board a plane in the Maldives. The Russians called it a kidnapping and accused the U.S. of trying to trade Seleznev for Edward Snowden. Continue reading