US court sentences Russian hacker Nikulin to 7 years
A US court has sentenced Russian Yevgeny Nikulin who was found guilty of hacking, to seven years and four months in prison. The prosecutor’s office requested 12 years and one month in prison, and the defense suggested four years that Nikulin had already spent in custody behind bars.
“I sentence him to 88 months in prison,” RIA Novosti was quoted as saying by a US federal judge. According to the TASS agency, Nikulin refused the opportunity to speak in his defense before sentencing.
The defense is considering appealing the verdict, Arkulin’s lawyer Arkady Buch told TASS, estimating that the Russian will probably spend a little more than two years in a US prison during his current sentence before being deported. In the case of good behavior, the sentence is reduced by an average of 15 percent, and 48 months spent in pre-trial detention are included.
“He assumes that he will have to serve 26 months if he does well,” he said. He called the appeal very likely.
In July, a jury in San Francisco found 33-year-old Nikulin guilty on nine counts of assaulting LinkedIn and Formspring and the Dropbox web store in 2012. According to the indictment, he stole data from more than 117 million accounts.
Nikulin’s defense argued that investigators had failed to prove with certainty the link between Nikulin and Internet usernames, search histories, and other evidence presented. Lawyer Adam Gasner has previously said that anyone, including Russia’s secret services, could use Nikulin’s e-mail accounts to commit crimes on his behalf.
Nikulin was detained in October 2016 in Prague at the request of the United States. The Czech court then agreed to extradition to the USA, although Russia also requested the extradition of its citizen at the same time. It was released to the United States in March 2018.
Nikulin’s trial in San Francisco began in March, but was interrupted shortly after that due to a coronavirus pandemic and resumed in early July.