14:23 GMT31 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Latvian resident Ruslans Bondars, 38, was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for operating a service that allegedly helped hackers to evade antivirus programs, the Justice Department said in a press release.

    "A Latvian ‘non-citizen,’ meaning a citizen of the former USSR who resided in Riga, Latvia, was sentenced to 168 months in prison today for offenses related to his [Bondars] operation of ‘Scan4you,’ an online counter antivirus service that helped computer hackers determine whether the computer viruses and other malicious software they created would be detected by antivirus software," the release said on Friday.

    The court’s decision regarding forfeiture and payment of restitution to victims is still being determined, the release added.

    According to testimony at trial and court documents, the release said, Bondars operated Scan4you from at least 2009 until 2016. Scan4you customers, the release added, used the service to steal millions of credit and debit card numbers from retail stores and to hack other major US corporations which led to some $20.5 billion in losses.

    READ MORE: Kaspersky Lab on NSA's Stolen Data: User Disabled the Antivirus on His Computer

    In May, Russian citizen Yuriy Martyshev, a co-defendant, testified against Bondars. Martyshev pleaded guilty to two of four cybercrime-related charges while Bondars decided to proceed to the trial. The Russian Embassy in the United States said Martyshev was apprehended in Latvia and extradited to the United States in violation of US-Russian treaties.


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