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Russian Hacker To Be Sentenced In Seattle For Stealing Credit Card Info From Retailers

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2009 file photo, a customer swipes a MasterCard debit card through a machine while checking-out at a shop in Seattle.

A Russian hacker will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday. Roman Seleznev, whose father is a prominent member of the Russian Parliament, was convicted last August for his part in a multi-million dollar credit card fraud scheme. The credit card scheme involved hacking into point-of-sale computers at retail businesses and installing malware. Whenever a customer swiped their credit card, the information was captured, bundled with others and the sold on the international black market.

A number of restaurants and small retailers in Western Washington, including pizza places in Yelm, Anacortes and Seattle were among those hacked.

In all, the hacking is estimated to have cost financial institutions in the U.S.  $169 million.

Roman Seleznev was indicted in the case by a federal grand jury in Seattle back in 2011.

Seleznev wasn’t apprehended until 2014. He was picked up while on vacation in the Maldives and turned over to U.S. authorities.

At the time, Russia’s foreign ministry charged the U.S. had kidnapped him. The Secret Service insisted no treaties had been broken and Seleznev was brought to Seattle for trial. He was found guilty last August.

The sentencing in the case, U.S.A. vs. Seleznev, is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Friday in the federal courthouse in Seattle. Judge Richard Jones could sentence  Seleznev up to 34 years in prison.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.