Russian Who Claims Hillary Clinton, DNC Email Hack Gets 14-Year Sentence

A Russian who claimed in 2017 that he was ordered to hack the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and steal emails linked to Hillary Clinton has been sentenced to 14 years for cyber fraud.

Konstantin Kozlovsky, the leader of the hacking group Lurk, was ordered by a court in Yekaterinburg to spend 14 years at a "maximum security prison colony" after the group used Trojan malware to steal more than 1.2 billion rubles ($15.6 million) between December 2015 and April 2016.

He was arrested in 2016 and charged with illegally accessing computer information, organizing a criminal association, and with cyber fraud. Others members of the group were handed sentences of between five and a half years and 13 years, RBC reported.

The youngest member of the group had her sentencing postponed until she reaches the age of 14.

During a hearing about his arrest in August 2017, Kozlovsky said he had been recruited by Russia's Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, to hack the DNC and steal emails linked to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to Russian news site The Bell.

An audio recording and minutes from the hearing were posted on Kozlovsky's Facebook page at the time, according to the news outlet.

According to Interfax, Kozlovsky's statements that he allegedly stole data from U.S. government servers using malicious software weren't confirmed during the trial.

"During examinations, there were no facts presented that the U.S. government's network infrastructure was infected. The gang members themselves have never discussed this issue in the network correspondence available in the case file. Except for Kozlovsky, none of the members of the group confirm any computer attacks on U.S. networks or influence on the U.S. presidential election in 2016," a source told the news agency.

The source added that Kozlovsky's case didn't establish a connection between Kozlovsky and FSB cybersecurity agent Dmitry Dokuchaev—who Kozlovsky claimed was his supervisor—or any other employees of the department. Dokuchaev, was convicted of treason following Kozlovsky's allegations.

U.S. intelligence services have determined that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential election and stole emails from the DNC. In 2016, cybersecurity company CrowdStrike found that hackers associated with the FSB and Russian military intelligence infiltrated the DNC's emails.

"CrowdStrike stands fully by its analysis and findings identifying two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network in May 2016," the company said in a statement at the time.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Russia has interfered in U.S. presidential elections.

Newsweek has contacted the White House and the Democratic National Committee for comment.

Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop
A file photo of a computer hacker. A Russian hacker who claimed in 2017 that he was ordered to hack the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and steal emails linked to Hillary Clinton has been sentenced to 14 years for cyber fraud. Getty Images