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Russian citizen sentenced in US sent to prison with milder conditions

Russian citizen Roman Seleznev, who was sentenced in the United States over cyber fraud charges, has been transferred to a prison in Butner, North Carolina

NEW YORK, February 28. /TASS/. Russian citizen Roman Seleznev, who was sentenced in the United States over cyber fraud charges, has been transferred to a prison in Butner, North Carolina, with milder conditions, his defense attorney Igor Litvak told TASS.

Earlier, Seleznev had been serving his 27-year sentence in the USP Atlanta, a medium-security US federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia. He was sent to the Butner federal correctional complex in late January.

"This is much better than in the USP Atlanta, they aren’t comparable," the defense attorney stressed.

"This is considered to be a very good prison, with a good hospital. He can walk there, there is a library there, and people may go in for sports," Litvak said, noting that this facility is one of top ten federal prisons in the United States.

The only disadvantage of the new prison is that Seleznev has to register every two hours between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

"This is very tiresome for Roman, and we don’t understand the reason for this. In this prison he is the only person, who has to undergo this program," Litvak said, stressing that there is no need for these measures. The prison’s authorities unreasonably consider that the Russian citizen is a "very dangerous criminal," he noted.

Several times Seleznev was just one minute late when he registered and the authorities threatened to send him to a confinement cell. All attempts by the defense attorney to scrap this program have been in vain. "The only result so far is that they told Roman he would face worse conditions if we further challenged this."

Seleznev case

Roman Seleznev was detained at the international airport of the Republic of Maldives on July 5, 2014. On the same day, he was extradited to the island of Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States. Guam’s district court refused to release the Russian and handed down a decision to deport him to Seattle, where charges against him were brought.

US investigators suspected Seleznev of having intended to steal and sell information about US citizens’ credit cards between October 2009 and February 2011. According to the investigators, the Russian national was involved in the theft of some 200,000 credit card numbers. In August 2016, Seleznev was found guilty on cyber crime counts. On April 21, 2017 he was sentenced to 27 years in prison and was ordered to pay $170 mln.

Moscow stresses that Seleznev was not arrested but "kidnapped" by the US authorities while the case against him is politically motivated.

In September 2017, prosecutors in the US state of Georgia, who also had brought charges against Seleznev, announced that the Russian citizen pleaded guilty to colluding to carry out a cyber attack against Worldpay, which provides payment services for banks. In Nevada, Seleznev was accused of having been involved in crimes since 2009 as part of the Carder Internet group. Its members committed computer crimes linked to stealing credit card numbers and personal information of banks’ clients.

In December 2017, the US Justice Department announced that Seleznev was sentenced to another 14-year prison term based on charges in Georgia and Nevada. Seleznev will serve his sentence in parallel with his 27-year prison term.