Russian pizza restaurant 'hacker' faces US trial

Red Pepper Pizza Image copyright Google
Image caption One of the outlets allegedly targeted in the hacking scheme was Red Pepper Pizza, north-east of Seattle

The trial of a Russian man accused of orchestrating a hacking scheme that targeted US pizza restaurants is due to begin this week.

Prosecutors allege that Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian MP, was a "master hacker" behind a plan which led to $170m (£131m) of fraudulent purchases.

He is accused of hacking into a number of outlets in Washington state in order to steal credit card data.

However, his lawyers say the evidence is inadequate.

The prosecution's witness list includes the owners and managers of Mad Pizza, ZPizza, Village Pizza and Casa Mia, among other restaurants.

The Associated Press reported that Steve Bussing, who owns Red Pepper Pizza near Seattle, was forced to spend roughly $10,000 (£7,740) on a new computer system after his one was breached.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Anna Otisko, Mr Seleznev's girlfriend, cried during a press conference over the Russian's arrest in 2014

Mr Seleznev and his girlfriend were arrested by US Secret Service agents at a Maldives airport in 2014.

He is the son of Valery Seleznev, a Russian member of parliament for the Liberal Democratic Party.

Lawyers have argued that Mr Seleznev Jr's arrest was a "kidnapping" or an "illegal rendition" that violated international law, but a US District judge has blocked that argument from the trial.

The hacking scheme is alleged to have been carried out between 2008 and 2014, ending with the arrest of Mr Seleznev in July of that year.

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