Moscow diplomats meet with Russian detained in US on cybercrime charges
Ohio (Reuters) – Vladimir Dunaev, a Russian national who is in pre-trial detention in Ohio on cybercrime charges, has met for the first time with Russian embassy employees, the Russian embassy in the U.S. told the TASS state news agency on Tuesday.
Dunaev was a member of a cybercriminal organization that deployed a computer banking trojan and ransomware suite of malware known as “Trickbot”, the Justice Department said after his 2021 extradition from South Korea to Ohio.
“The compatriot does not consider himself guilty,” Nadezhda Shumova, head of the consular section at the embassy, told TASS.
“He does not intend to sign an agreement with the prosecutor’s office. Will stand to the end and fight for justice,” she added.
This was Dunaev’s first in-person meeting with embassy officials, Shumova said.
Dunaev’s indictment alleges that beginning in November 2015, and continuing through August 2020, he and others stole money, confidential information, and damaged computer systems from unsuspecting victims, including individuals, financial institutions, school districts, utility companies, government entities, and private businesses.
He has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
If convicted of all counts, Dunaev faces a maximum penalty of 60 years’ imprisonment.
Shumova said Dunaev has health issues and his vision has deteriorated. She added that the embassy on Monday “sent a demarche to the State Department demanding that he be provided with qualified medical care”.
Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Himani Sarkar