Russian man pleads guilty in computer fraud case

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — A Russian man has pleaded guilty in Minnesota in connection with a global computer fraud case.

Forty-one-year-old Maxim Senakh, of Velikii Novgorod, Russia, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and wire fraud.

Authorities said Senakh and his associates installed malware on tens of thousands of computer servers worldwide to generate fraudulent payments for themselves. Among other things, the malware was used in spam email schemes — generating millions in revenue.

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Senakh was indicted in 2015, arrested by Finnish authorities and extradited to the U.S. to face charges.

Minneapolis FBI spokesman Craig Lisher said the case was handled in Minnesota because the agency’s cyber investigators were searching for threats and found that Senakh was victimizing Minnesota citizens.