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U.S. Court Sentences Russian To 27 Years In Hacking Case


Roman Seleznyov with his girlfriend and their daughter in an undated photo

A Russian man convicted of hacking into U.S. businesses to steal credit-card information has been sentenced by a Seattle court to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $170 million in restitution.

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones on April 21 pronounced the sentence on Roman Seleznyov, saying the convicted man was "driven by one goal: greed."

Seleznev is the son of Valery Seleznyov, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament and outspoken critic of U.S. policies.

Before the sentencing, Seleznyov issued a plea for leniency. "I plead, pray, and beg your honor for mercy," he told the judge.

Seleznyov was found guilty by a Seattle jury in August 2016 on 38 counts, including hacking and wire fraud. He faced up to 34 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors accused Seleznyov of making millions by hacking into businesses and restaurants and selling credit-card information and other data on underground Internet forums.

He was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents, with the help of local police, at a Maldives airport as he and a girlfriend were on their way back to Russia.

Seleznyov's lawyer, Igor Litvak, said his client had accepted responsibility. However, after sentencing, the lawyer called the term unreasonable and said Seleznyov was a victim of tense U.S.-Russia relations.

Seleznyov released a statement saying the decision demonstrates to the world "that I am a political prisoner."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS
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