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July 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Relatives of Russian man facing hacking charges in Seattle say he’s innocent

Update at 11:24 a.m.: Asked by Times reporter Erin Heffernan to respond to allegations by the Russian foreign ministry that Seleznev was kidnapped, the U.S. Department of Justice issued this statement:

The Maldivian authorities detained Russian national Roman Valerevich Seleznev following the issuance of an Interpol Red Notice for Mr. Seleznev in relation to indictments that allege serious charges of bank and computer fraud that affected thousands of American citizens.

Original post:

The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Family members of a Russian man charged in Seattle with hacking in the United States insist he is innocent and fear he will die in custody if he doesn’t have his medication.

Roman Seleznev, son of a prominent Russian lawmaker, was arrested on bank fraud and other charges earlier this week. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle alleges that he hacked into computers at hundreds of retail businesses including the Phoenix Zoo.

Seleznev’s father, Valery, told a televised news conference on Friday that his son, who was left brain-damaged after a 2011 bombing in Marrakech, will die without his medicine.

The son appeared in court on the Pacific island of in Guam on Monday and was ordered detained until a hearing July 22. He was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service over the weekend, according to documents filed in federal court in Seattle.

“There are no medical services there at all, treatment is not available,” Seleznev said. When asked how his son is going to manage without prescription drugs the lawmaker said: “He will die.”

Roman Seleznev, known by the underground name “Track2,” is accused of carrying out a scheme to hack into retailers’ computers, install malicious software and steal credit card numbers from 2009 to 2011.

He is accused of marketing and selling those credit card numbers on “criminally inspired websites” and using servers in Virginia, Russia, Ukraine and other parts of the world.

Seleznev’s girlfriend, Anna Otisko, said she was with him when he was grabbed by unknown men at the airport in the Maldives and put on the plane.

Otisko, who has been dating Seleznev for a year, said he was never wealthy and the vacation on the Maldives was a luxury for them.

The Russian foreign ministry has accused Washington of kidnapping Seleznev. U.S. officials have declined to say how or where he was apprehended.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: hacking, U.S. Attorney's Office

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