An unusual scene played out in a Newark court recently as a Russian defendant who entered the court room with shackles around his ankles and wrists entered a plea of not guilty to 11 criminal charges. The criminal defense representing the Russian man accused of involvement in a credit card hacking scheme will attempt to convince the court that the numerous charges against the defendant, including fraud, conspiracy and unlawful computer access, are unsupported by the evidence.
The indictment alleges that the Russian defendant and 5 coconspirators, all from Russia or the Ukraine, successfully stole more than 150 million credit card numbers by hacking into the computer systems of several companies, including JetBlue and Nasdaq. The Russian defendant is specifically accused of being responsible for brokering the sales of and setting the prices for the stolen credit card data that was ultimately used to produce fraudulent credit cards that enabled the theft of more than $300 million over an almost 8 year period.
The Russian defendant has been held in isolation at an undisclosed location since his extradition to the U.S. after being captured in the Netherlands. His defense attorney indicated that the defense is planning to highlight what they feel are problems with the methods used during the arrest in the Netherlands. The defense will also point to communication problems in the Netherlands that they feel negatively impacted the defendant’s interests. Although the defendant is originally from Moscow, his attorney indicated that he is fluent in English.
Individuals facing criminal charges are sometimes confused about the legal process and their rights under the law. Attorneys working in the area of criminal law may help to prepare their clients for trial by familiarizing them with the laws that could directly impact their defense.