MOSCOW – A member of the Russian parliament is outraged after his son was handed down a sentence of 30 years in prison for computer hacking crimes in the United States, according to American media.
Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, 32, was convicted in August for stealing credit card data from US restaurants, causing nearly $170m in damages. Seleznev made millions by selling the data on the dark web, US officials say.
His father, Russian MP Valery Seleznev, said the sentence was “passed by man-eaters” and that his son was “abducted”.
“My son was tortured because being in jail in a foreign country after abduction is torture in itself. He is innocent,” he told RIA Novosti news agency.
Seleznev, a member of the lower house of the Russian legislature known as the Duma, is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Roman Seleznev was first indicted in 2011 on 29 felony charges and was captured in 2014 in the Maldives.
Seleznev’s lawyers say his troubled history, poor health and willingness to help the government catch other cybercriminals should be considered when deciding his sentence, the New York Times reports.
Between 2009 and 2013, Seleznev hacked into retail point-of-sale systems and installed malicious software that enabled him to steal millions of credit card numbers from more than 500 American businesses and 3,700 financial institutions, according to the Justice Department.
He then sent the data to servers he controlled in Russia, Ukraine and McLean, Virginia, and sold the information on criminal “carding” websites, where users bought them for fraudulent purchases, officials said.
Seleznev was taken into custody in July 2014 in the Maldives. His laptop at the time contained more than 1.7m stolen credit card numbers.