HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Russian man described by U.S. authorities as one of the world’s most notorious criminal spammers has been indicted by a federal grand jury, officials announced Friday.
Pyotr Levashov, who was arrested in Barcelona, Spain, this month, is accused of running a computer network that sent hundreds of millions of spam emails worldwide each year. The U.S. Justice Department is seeking his extradition.
A federal grand jury in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Thursday indicted Levashov, 36, on charges including causing intentional damage to a protected computer, accessing protected computers in furtherance of fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
An email message seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Levashov in Spain.
Most Read Stories
- Swastika-wearing man punched on Seattle street, removes swastika, police say
- Win over 49ers can't mask the fact that these Seahawks are in big trouble | Matt Calkins
- 'Polite Robber' suspect told similar sob story when arrested 8 years ago
- Pete Carroll on Seahawks offense: 'There will be some things that will be a little bit different this week' WATCH
- Seattle City Council picks Tim Burgess to replace Bruce Harrell as temporary mayor VIEW
American authorities say Levashov commanded the sprawling Kelihos botnet, which at times allegedly involved more than 100,000 compromised computers that sent phony emails advertising counterfeit drugs, harvested users’ logins and installed malware that intercepted bank account passwords.
On a typical day, the network would generate and distribute more than 2,500 spam emails, according to the indictment.
The Justice Department announced on April 10 that it had taken action to dismantle the Kelihos botnet and that Levashov had been arrested.
The FBI in Connecticut is leading the investigation with assistance from Spanish national police.