US: Son of Russian Lawmaker Pleads Guilty to Racketeering and Bank Fraud

The son of a Russian lawmaker, who sold personal information and credit card data which he obtained through online identity theft, pleaded guilty on Thursday to racketeering and bank fraud, the US Department of Justice said.

identity-theft copy copyIdentity Theft (Photo: Nick Youngson, CC BY-SA 3.0)Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, dubbed Track2, admitted that in 2009 he became a member of the international identity theft and credit card fraud ring known as “Carder.su” and that he sold the data to other members.

The 33-year-old son of prominent Russian parliament member Valery Seleznev, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, had so many customers that he created his own automated website and advertised it on the Carder.su site.

It allowed members to log in and purchase stolen credit card account data, according to the US Justice Department.

The group tried to protect the anonymity and security of the enterprise from law enforcement and rival organizations through encrypted private networks, Seleznev said.

Each victim's account number was sold for approximately US$ 20, which totaled over US $50 million in losses.

Seleznev also admitted that he acted as a “casher” who worked with hackers to defraud an Atlanta-based company that helped process credit and debit card transactions for financial institutions.

The hackers allegedly infiltrated the company’s computer systems and stole 45.5 million debit card numbers, a portion of which was used to withdraw over US$ 9.4 million from ATMs across the world in less than 12 hours.

Seleznev was arrested while vacationing in the Maldives in 2014 and later brought to the US.

In April, he was sentenced by a federal court to 27 years in a US prison for a massive computer hacking and credit card fraud scheme that caused nearly US$ 170 million in damage, the International Business Times reported.

The 27-year sentence is the longest ordered for hacking-related charges in the US.

Seleznev’s lawyer, Igor Litvak, said his client will appeal the conviction.

"We still feel the way he was brought to the US was illegal," Litvak said, according to Reuters. "He was basically kidnapped."

Seleznev will be sentenced on December 11.