CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- A Russian man accused of selling some of the 160 million credit and debit card numbers obtained in a computer hacking scheme pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Moscow resident Dmitriy Smilianets entered his plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Camden. Smilianets, 32, faces up to 30 years in prison plus millions of dollars in fines when he is sentenced in January.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in 2013 that the case was the largest hacking scheme prosecuted in the United States.
Several companies were invaded, but the biggest target was Heartland Payment Systems Inc., a Princeton-based company that processes credit cards for small and medium-size businesses. Authorities said 130 million card numbers were stolen from there.
The information was sold to people who used it to create magnetic strips for counterfeit credit cards.
Prosecutors said that the hackers implanted malware in multiple companies' servers for more than a year and used their access to steal personal data. Smilianets was in charge of selling the information around the world. Prosecutors say he charged about $10 for each stolen American credit card number, $50 for each European card and $15 for each Canadian card. Repeat and bulk customers got discounts.
The case was built on a 2009 case against Miami resident Albert Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to hacking into the computer systems of major retailers and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
Vladimir Drinkman, also of Russia, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in the scheme, which ran from 2005 to 2012.
Three defendants in the case have not been arrested and are being sought. They are Aleksander Kalinin, of St. Petersburg, Russia; Roman Kotov, of Moscow; and Mikhail Rytikov, of Odessa, Ukraine.