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New hacking charges filed

Russian alleged leader in credit card theft world

Martha Bellisle Associated Press

SEATTLE – Calling him “a leader in the marketplace for stolen credit card numbers,” federal prosecutors added 11 new charges against a Russian man they say hacked into U.S. businesses to steal information that he allegedly sold on Internet “carding” sites.

The new 40-count indictment filed Thursday said Roman Seleznev, 30, started hacking into businesses in 2007 and continued until July 4 – the day before he was arrested in the Maldives and later brought to the U.S. The indictment adds eight new aliases to his long list of assumed names and online nicknames. It also adds additional wire fraud and hacking charges.

Seleznev “intended to and did generate and receive millions of dollars in illicit profits and caused millions of dollars in losses to banks and merchants,” the indictment said. He allegedly accepted payment for the stolen credit card data through certain payment services, including Bitcoin, MoneyGram and Western Union, “in an attempt to make it more difficult to trace the proceeds of transactions and to conceal the identity of the parties,” the indictment said.

Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said besides being an alleged leader in the credit card theft world, Seleznev “even created a website offering a tutorial on how to use stolen credit card numbers to commit crime.”

Seleznev pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges and will be arraigned on the new charges next week. His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the new charges. His trial is set for Nov. 3.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, with the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said her agency is committed to uncovering the methods computer hackers use to steal credit card information.

“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 credit-card selling underworld and get equipment that can be used to defraud U.S. citizens,” she said in a statement.

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