For more than a decade, the U.S. Secret Service hunted Roman Seleznev, a computer wizard suspected of being one of the world’s most prolific traffickers in stolen credit cards.
But agents had a problem: Despite three separate federal hacking-related indictments against the 30-year-old son of a prominent Russian lawmaker, Seleznev remained out of reach, in Vladivostok, Russia.
Then he made a mistake last July and visited a luxurious resort in the Indian Ocean for a family vacation. U.S. authorities pounced, enlisting local police in a fast-paced operation that was nearly foiled by bad weather thousands of miles away. Seleznev is now in jail in Seattle, awaiting trial in November.
Seleznev’s arrest was a rare victory for U.S. investigators seeking alleged cybercriminals in countries like Russia that do not have extradition treaties with the U.S. nor histories of cooperating with American authorities.