Son of Russian lawmaker faces new hacking charges

A Russian national arrested this year by US officials was indicted on additional hacking charges, alleging he led a scheme to steal some two million credit card numbers, officials said.

Roman Valerevich Seleznev, the 30-year-old son of a Russian lawmaker, now faces 40 criminal counts including wire fraud and identity theft, the Justice Department said in a statement Thursday.

The superseding indictment returned late Wednesday by a grand jury in Seattle, Washington, offered more details on the alleged scheme to create an underground network to facilitate the theft and sales of .

Seleznev was arrested in July, to face in a prior indictment.

Seleznev and his partners hacked into computer payment systems and stole from dozens of retailers in Seattle and other cities around the United States, prosecutors alleged.

The numbers were then sold on "dump shop websites" which facilitate sales of stolen .

"The additions in this superseding indictment show how cybercriminals use the Internet not only to infiltrate and steal sensitive data, but also to teach other criminals how to navigate the selling underworld and get equipment that can be used to defraud US citizens," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.

Seleznev is currently scheduled for trial on November 3 and will be arraigned on the new charges sometime next week, officials said. He faces additional charges in Nevada.

Acting US Attorney Annette Hayes said that Seleznev "was a leader in the marketplace for stolen credit card numbers, and even created a website offering a tutorial on how to use stolen credit to commit crime."

In July, Moscow accused Washington of abducting Seleznev from the Maldives, in a further strain on US-Russia relations.

The State Department countered that there was "no kidnapping involved" in the arrest.

© 2014 AFP

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