Roman Seleznev Faces Charges For $170M Card Fraud Scheme

The son of a Russian lawmaker Roman Seleznev is facing charges that he is the master hacker behind $170 million in credit card fraud.

Seleznev is specifically charged with hacking into the computer systems of mainly pizza restaurants in Washington State – stealing credit card data and selling it off on the dark web’s black markets.  The case will be heard in federal court – a jury will hear evidence later this week that Seleznev made millions on a card fraud that created $170 million worth of fraudulent charges.

Lawyers representing Seleznev will argue that prosecutors have not sufficiently connected their client to the hacks, which spanned over several years and compromised over 200 businesses. They further allege that the Secret Service agents who arrested Seleznev mishandled his laptop and by so doing compromised the evidence against him.  He faces a 40-count indictment with charges ranging as far back as 2008. He was arrested by U.S. officials while vacationing in the Maldives during 2014. Russia had previously declined to extradite Seleznev to stand trial.

Seleznev was apprehended on his way back to Russia. The agents flew him by private jet to Guam, where he made his first court appearance, and then to Seattle, where he is in federal custody. He had previously been indicted on 29 felony hacking counts – but suffered a traumatic injury in a terrorist bombing in Morocco that left him unable to stand trial. He still has a visible sickle shaped scar from the incident on the side of his head.

His father, Valery Seleznev, is a member of the Russian Parliament.

His lawyers, apart from arguing his innocence, also argue that he was kidnapped by American officials in violation of international law – though that argument will not be heard at trial, since the judge has already ruled against it.

Prosecutors will argue that “numerous forensic artifacts” link Seleznev to the long string of malware-based crimes.

Jury selection begins Monday. The trial will likely be about 14 days long.