STA, 1 October 2019 - German federal police have arrested Matjaž Škorjanc, a Slovenian coder wanted by the US on charges of cybercrime, the newspaper Slovenske Novice reported on Tuesday. His father has confirmed the arrest.
Škorjanc is charged with involvement in a criminal racket that hacked into computers to steal credit card numbers and other data between 2008 and 2013, causing US$4.5 million in damage to the victims.
At the beginning of September, a US federal court in Washington unsealed an indictment against Škorjanc, another Slovenian, an American and a Spaniard for racketeering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud through Darkode, a major computer hacking forum, which was closed down in 2015.
Matjaž Škorjanc. YouTube screenshot
Apart from Škorjanc, charges were filed against Mentor Leniqi, Spaniard Florencio Carro Ruiz and US citizen Thomas McCormick.
McCormick was allegedly the last administrator of Darkode, which was created and initially administrated by Škorjanc. If found guilty, each of those indicted face up to 50 years in prison.
Martin Škorjanc, CEO of H-Bit, has confirmed that his son was arrested in Germany last week based on the indictment and the relevant international arrest warrant.
"There is no legal basis for the prosecution because Matjaž Škorjanc has already been convicted for the same crime and has already served his sentence in full in Slovenia," the father said in a press release.
"This is an unacceptable attempt for a repeat trial in the same case, something that is prohibited under Slovenian, European as well as US law," he added.
The US law enforcement authorities asked for Škorjanc's extradition from Slovenia as early as 2011.
Škorjanc was sentenced to four years and ten months in prison in late 2013 for creating the Mariposa botnet software, malware that had hijacked about 12.7 million computers around the world. He has already served out his sentence.
Related: Learn Slovene with Hackers