Roman Seleznev, son of a Russian lawmaker, was picked up in Maldives and taken into U.S. custody in Guam, three years after being indicted.
Roman Seleznev, son of a Russian lawmaker, was picked up in Maldives and taken into U.S. custody in Guam, three years after being indicted.

Authorities have arrested a 30-year-old Russian man for a bevy of point-of-sale (POS) hacking crimes at Washington, D.C., restaurants, including an attack on Broadway Grill in 2010.

According to court documents, Roman Seleznev, who goes by many handles, including “Track2,” “nCuX,” and “bulba” was taken into custody on July 5 in Guam, three years after he was indicted for the crimes, which ultimately led to the closure of the popular Capitol Hill eatery.

The indictment in U.S. District Court in Seattle, unsealed this week, showed that Seleznev is charged with hacking into retail POS systems between October 2009 and February 2011 and installing malware to steal credit card numbers.

The Justice Department fingered Seleznev as the mastermind behind the creating and operation of the tech infrastructure that supported the scheme. He is charged with five counts of bank fraud, eight counts each of intentionally causing damage and obtaining information from a protected computer and a single count of possessing 15 or more unauthorized devices, in this case stolen credit card numbers.

He was also hit with two counts of trafficking in unauthorized access devices and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Durkan said that Seleznev's arrest sends a message to “cyber crooks” that they “cannot hide behind distant keyboards. We will bring you to justice.”

Just how Seleznev, who the son of a Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznyov, was brought to justice is being hotly debated and protested.

His arrest has sparked allegations from the Russian Foreign Ministry that he was kidnapped by the U.S. and spirited to Guam, according to an account posted on the ministry's website and detailed by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

The ministry says Seleznev was picked up in a Maldives airport in a move it considers “unfriendly” on the part of the U.S. government. “It is not the first time that the U.S. kidnaps a Russian citizen ignoring the 1999 mutual legal assistance agreement,” the ministry's statement said.