SEATTLE - A federal judge on Friday ordered the son of a prominent Russian lawmaker to remain in custody until his trial on computer hacking charges, after a prosecutor said evidence recovered from his laptop after his arrest in the Maldives gave new insight into the breadth of his activities.
Roman Seleznev, 30, the son of Valery Seleznev, appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle, where he was indicted in 2011 on charges that involved hacking into computerized cash registers, stealing hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers and selling the data online for at least $2 million.
Seleznev faces similar but unrelated charges in Nevada.
In arguing for Seleznev to remain in custody, assistant U.S. attorney Norman Barbosa told the court that at first look, his laptop contained 2.1 million stolen credit card numbers, his criminal behavior was ongoing, and his profits had topped $17 million.
"Those funds have remained beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement, so they are probably - almost definitely - available to the defendant" should he try to flee, Barbosa told Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue.
Even as Seleznev vacationed in the Maldives, he had been searching the online system of the U.S. federal courts for charges filed against him - under his own name and his online nicknames, Barbosa said.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a range of potential penalties, with some counts punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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