Accused Russian Hacker Ordered Held Pending Trial
Magistrate Judge Cites Risk Of Flight In Ordering Detention
Accused Russian hacker ROMAN SELEZNEV was ordered detained in federal custody today pending trial scheduled for October 2014. SELEZNEV’s attorneys had asked the court to release him to a furnished apartment in Seattle on a $1 million bond secured by $100,000 in cash, and to essentially place him on house arrest with electronic home monitoring and no access to computers. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue rejected the defense proposal, however, noting that SELEZNEV has no ties to the Western District of Washington, was a frequent international traveler, has large amounts of money in bank accounts around the world, and is computer savvy enough to create false identity documents which would allow him to flee.
“Today was another important step in ensuring the charges against this defendant are tried in this community,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “The defendant is entitled to every protection offered by our system, but will be afforded no special privileges. Our investigation into the scope of defendant's actions is ongoing.”
During the hearing, prosecutors revealed that a laptop computer seized from SELEZNEV at the time of his arrest contains 2.1 million stolen credit card numbers. The forensic analysis of the computer also shows that in the days before his arrest SELEZNEV was searching the electronic filing system for the United States federal courts looking for his name or online nicknames in any federally filed cases.
Background on the case
Roman Valerevich Seleznev, aka “Track2,” 30, of Vladivostok, Russia, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Washington on March 3, 2011, and the indictment was unsealed on July 7, 2014. Seleznev is charged in connection with operating several carding forums, which are websites where criminals gather to sell stolen credit card numbers, and hacking into retail point of sale systems and installing malicious software on the systems to steal credit card numbers.
According to the allegations in the indictment, Seleznev hacked into retail point of sale systems to steal credit card numbers between October 2009 and February 2011. Seleznev also created and operated infrastructure using servers located all over the world to facilitate the theft and sale of credit card data and host carding forums. Seleznev is charged with 29 counts: five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, eight counts of obtaining information from a protected computer without authorization, one count of possession with intent to defraud of 15 or more unauthorized access devices (stolen credit card numbers), two counts of trafficking in unauthorized access devices and five counts of aggravated identity theft.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Seattle Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Norman M. Barbosa and Seth Wilkinson of the Western District of Washington and Trial Attorney Ethan Arenson of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Guam provided substantial assistance.
Seleznev has also been charged in an indictment filed in the District of Nevada that was returned on Jan. 10, 2012, and unsealed on Nov. 13, 2013, alleging that he participated in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, conspired to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, and possessed counterfeit access devices. Seleznev, referenced as “Track2” in the indictment, and 54 others are charged with being members of the “Carder.su” organization which allegedly trafficked in compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identifications and committed money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and various types of computer crime. Seleznev allegedly operated a website that sold stolen credit card information to members of the Carder.su organization. Thus far, at least 25 of the defendants have been convicted, and several others are fugitives.
The Nevada investigation is being handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service. The Nevada case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly M. Frayn and Andrew W. Duncan of the District of Nevada and Trial Attorney Jonathan Ophardt of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
The charges contained in the indictments are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.