Russian national Roman Valerevich Seleznev is now facing hacking charges after U.S. Secret Service arrested him in France on Saturday.
Seleznev was under indictment in the Western District of Washington since March 2011 for hacking into point of sale systems at retailers throughout the United States between October 2009 and February 2011.
“This important arrest sends a clear message: despite the increasingly borderless nature of transitional organized crime, the long arm of justice — and this Department — will continue to disrupt and dismantle sophisticated criminal organizations,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. “This arrest reflects the hard work by the U.S. Secret Service and our interagency and international partners, and we must continue close collaboration with the law enforcement community to counter this ever evolving threat.”
Seleznev hacked into point of sale systems throughout the U.S. and operated servers and international carding forum websites to facilitate the theft and sale of stolen credit card data, the indictment said. Seleznev, known as “Track2” in the criminal carding underground, remains in custody pending trial.
“Secret Service agents utilize state-of-the-art investigative techniques to identify and pursue cyber criminals around the world,” said Julia Pierson, director of the U.S. Secret Service. “This scheme involved multiple network intrusions and data thefts for illicit financial gain. The adverse impact this individual and other transnational organized criminal groups have on our nation’s financial infrastructure is significant and should not be underestimated.”
The charges in the indictment include five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, eight counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, two counts of trafficking unauthorized access devices, and five counts of aggravated identity theft. The case remains under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force in Seattle and will undergo prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.
“Cyber crooks should take heed: you cannot hide behind distant keyboards. We will bring you to face justice,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “I want to thank the U.S. Secret Service for their work investigating this case and apprehending the defendant. I want to also acknowledge the work of the Seattle Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Seattle Police Department, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Attorney in Guam.”
Seleznev is also charged in a separate indictment in the District of Nevada with participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO) and conspiracy to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization as well as two counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices. Those charges carry maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison for RICO and RICO conspiracy and up to 10 years in prison for possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices.
The U.S. Secret Service has taken a lead role in mitigating the threat of financial crimes since the agency’s inception in 1865. As technology has evolved, the scope of the U.S. Secret Service’s mission has expanded from its original counterfeit currency investigations to also include emerging financial, electronic and cyber-crimes. As a component agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service has established successful partnerships in both the law enforcement and business communities — across the country and around the world — in order to fight financial crimes.