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US Jury Convicts Russian MP's Son for Hacking Scheme

Roman Valerevich Seleznev, a 32-year-old Russian national known online as “Track2,” has been convicted by a federal jury in the United States for his role in a major hacking scheme that is estimated to have cost banks more than $169 million.

After an eight-day trial, Seleznev was convicted on a total of 38 counts, including wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, obtaining information from a protected computer, possession of unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft.

Sentencing has been scheduled for December 2, but the suspect’s lawyer told Reuters that they will file an appeal and challenge both his client’s arrest and the introduction of evidence from a corrupted laptop seized at the time of the arrest.

Seleznev is the son of Russian politician Valery Seleznev, who accused the United States of kidnapping back in 2014 when the alleged cybercriminal was arrested in the Maldives.

According to prosecutors, between October 2009 and October 2013, Seleznev hacked into the point-of-sale (PoS) systems of various businesses and installed a piece of malware that allowed him to steal payment card data. Some of the targeted organizations, such as the Broadway Grill in Seattle, which went bankrupt following the breach, were in Western Washington, where the trial took place.

Shortly after his arrest, authorities said they had found 2.1 million stolen credit and debit card numbers on the suspect’s laptop, but now that number has been reduced to 1.7 million. The information stolen by the malware from PoS systems was transferred to servers in Russia, Ukraine and Virginia.

Investigators said Seleznev bundled the cards into groups and offered them for sale on specialized carding websites. The man is believed to have caused more than $169 million in losses for 3,700 financial institutions.

Authorities in other U.S. states are also after Seleznev. He faces RICO and possession of counterfeit payment card charges in Nevada, and bank fraud and wire fraud charges in Georgia.

Shortly after Seleznev was brought to the United States, his attorney requested that he be placed on house arrest and proposed a $1 million bond. However, the judge rejected the proposal, arguing that the suspect had been a frequent international traveler, had large amounts of money in accounts around the world, and possessed the skills to create false documents.

Related: Russian Accused of Hacking 'May Die in US Prison' - Father

Related: Maldives Deny Foreign Hand in Arrest of Alleged Russian Hacker

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.