Russia man receives longest-ever cybercrime sentence News
Russia man receives longest-ever cybercrime sentence

[JURIST] Roman Seleznev, the son of a member of the Russian Parliament, was sentenced [Aljazeera report] on Friday for hacking into more than 500 US businesses, stealing then selling millions of credit card numbers. Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years, the longest-ever sentence for such a crime, and ordered to pay nearly $170 million in restitution. US District Judge Richard Jones [official profile] took no leniency on Seleznev, despite Seleznev’s pleas for mercy. After sentencing, Seleznev’s lawyer read a politically-charged statement:

This decision made by the United States government clearly demonstrates to the entire world that I’m a political prisoner, I was kidnapped by the US Now they want to send a message to the world using me as a pawn. This message that the US is sending today is not the right way to show Vladimar Putin of Russia, or any government in this world how justice works in a democracy.

Seleznev was indicted [press release] in 2011, a sealed indictment that was unsealed in 2014 when the Russian citizen was found in Maldives and arrested in Guam. Seleznev’s 2014 arrest prompted JURIST Guest Columnist Arkady Bukh to question [JURIST op-ed] whether the country in which a cybercrime originates have sole jurisdiction over the act and the person committing the crime, or can countries whose citizens have been harmed by the crime, in this instance hacking, bring the criminal to justice? With Seleznev’s conviction, the United States’ answer is that the harmed citizens retain jurisdiction. While Seleznev questioned the US’ commitment to human rights, Russia has been criticized for its own humanitarian controversies, most recently embodied in the Russian Supreme Court’s grant [JURIST report] of the Russian government’s request to ban the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group. The court ruled that the group is an “extremist organization” and outlawed their activities in the entire country.