At retrial, Russian hacker says treason-convicted ex-cop forced him to rob bank accounts
Dmitry Popelysh, who together with his twin brother stole more than 12 million rubles ($187,920) from various bank clients, has complained to federal investigators that he was forced into illegal hacker activity, a source who witnessed Popelysh’s courtroom testimony told the news agency RBC.
Popelysh says he was forced to hack bank clients by Ruslan Stoyanov, the former Interior Ministry major and former head of the computer incidents investigation team at Kaspersky Lab, who in early 2019 was sentenced to 14 years in prison for allegedly committing treason with several FSB agents.
Stoyanov contributed expert testimony against the Popelysh brothers in their first felony trial. According to Dmitry Popelysh, Stoyanov threatened him and forced him to steal money from different bank accounts. According to RBC, evidence in the case shows that Dmitry Popelysh previously said he worked for Stoyanov for several months. Speaking through his lawyer, Stoyanov denied the allegations.
In 2012, Dmitry and Evgeny Popelysh were sentenced to probation following charges of withdrawing 13 million rubles from Russian bank customers. Six years later, the brothers were charged with stealing another 12.5 million rubles, leading to eight-year prison sentences — one of the strongest punishments in the history of Russia’s hacker attacks. In March 2019, a higher court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial. The brothers remain jailed.