Cyber Crime

Russian hacker went from poverty to making millions in stolen credit cards. Now he's facing 27 years in prison

Russian hacker went from poverty to making millions in stolen credit cards. Now he's facing 27 years in prison

Born almost dirt-poor in Russia’s Far East, Roman Valerevich Seleznev still turned himself into a multi-millionaire by being one of the best in his field. That field, however, was stealing and selling credit card data.

On Friday, in a Seattle federal courtroom, before a judge sentenced Seleznev to 27 years in prison, his attorney and prosecutors recounted his remarkable rise — and fall.

“His entire life was a series of tragic events,” said his New York attorney, Igor Litvak.

Seleznev’s parents divorced when he was 2, and he and his mother lived in small Vladivostok apartment with four other families. His mother died of alcohol poisoning when he was 17.

As a teen he...

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