- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 11, 2020

Yevgeniy Nikulin, a Russian man accused of hacking American companies including LinkedIn, was found guilty of related charges Friday by a federal jury in San Francisco, California.

Nikulin, 32, was convicted of counts related to hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring in 2012 and compromising the personal information of millions of account holders.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 29, according to the case docket. Arkady Bukh, a defense lawyer for Nikulin, said he would file an appeal in the interim.

The charges against Nikulin were made public after he was arrested in Prague in 2016, which sparked an 18-month custody battle that ended with his extradition to the U.S. in 2018.

His trial had been set to start earlier this year, but it was suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic making it difficult for proceedings to safely take place.

Jurors ultimately deliberated for roughly five hours before announcing their verdict, according to a filing entered afterward in San Francisco federal court.

“Nikulin’s conviction is a warning to would-be hackers, wherever they may be,” U.S Attorney David L. Anderson said in a statement, according to the local CBS station. “Computer hacking is not just a crime, it is a direct threat to the security and privacy of Americans. American law enforcement will respond to that threat regardless of where it originates.”

Mr. Bukh, Nikulin’s attorney, said they are “certainly filing an appeal,” the Russian government’s TASS news agency reported. “A huge injustice has taken place,” the lawyer added.

Nikulin was vacationing in the Czech Republic when he was arrested pursuant to an Interpol “red notice” in late 2016. The U.S. and Russia do not have an extradition agreement, so the Department of Justice cannot depend on asking Moscow to turn over suspects like Nikulin and accordingly relied on catching him in another country.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova previously described the Nikulin case as “politically motivated” and “the latest example of the U.S. law enforcement authorities hunting Russian citizens around the world.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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