MOSCOW, February 15 (RAPSI) – The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in the U.S. has sentenced Russian national Vladimir Drinkman to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of protected computers and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the press-release of the U.S. Ministry of Justice reads.
Another Russian national, Dmitriy Smilianets was sentenced to 51 months and 21 days (in prison) time served.
Both Drinkman and Smilianets pleaded guilty in September 2015.
According to prosecutors, Russians Vladimir Drinkman, Alexander Kalinin, Roman Kotov and Dmitriy Smilianets, and Ukrainian Mikhail Rytikov, together stole and resold credit and debit cards over a period of seven years, causing more than $300 million in losses. Their actions have been described as "the largest hacking scheme ever prosecuted in the United States." Several large corporations were listed as victims: 7-Eleven, the Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain, Visa, Dow Jones and Jet Blue, among others.
The five men were charged in absentia by the District of New Jersey Federal Court in July 2013. The U.S. citizen Albert Gonzalez was another defendant in this case. In March 2010, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Smilianets was arrested along with Drinkman in the Netherlands in June 2012 and was extradited in September of that year. Initially, he pleaded not guilty but later admitted his guilt in conspiracy to fraud affecting a financial institution.
A Dutch court ruled on January 27, 2015 that Drinkman is to be sent to the United States to stand trial. Drinkman initially appealed the ruling but later faced the U.S. court in February 2015. He admitted his guilt in conspiracy to get unauthorized access to a computer and conspiracy to fraud.
The other three suspects are still at large.