Accused of cybercrimes, Frenchman Sébastien Raoult pleads “not guilty”

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Frenchman Sébastien Raoult, extradited Wednesday from Morocco to the United States, pleaded “not guilty” of cybercrimes Friday in a court in Seattle (northwest).

The 21-year-old appeared in person, assisted by a translator, before Federal Judge Michelle Peterson who served him with the charges against him. A court-appointed lawyer explained that he was pleading “not guilty” at this stage of the proceedings.

The prosecution having mentioned a “risk of absconding”, the magistrate decided that he would be kept in detention until the next hearing, scheduled for April 3. Sébastien Raoult was arrested on May 31 at Rabat-Salé airport at the request of American justice. He was extradited by Morocco on Wednesday, despite strong protests from his family and his lawyer.

Charges punishable by 2 to 27 years in prison

He is being prosecuted by American justice with two other French nationals, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22. The three men are accused of having formed the group of hackers “ShinyHunters” and of having, from 2020, stolen confidential data from 60 companies, including some located in the Seattle area, to resell them on the dark web.

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According to various experts, they have targeted Microsoft’s account on the computer code sharing platform Github, the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the American clothing brand Bonobos or the American telephone operator AT & T.

They face nine charges, including criminal association, computer fraud, identity theft, each punishable by penalties ranging from 2 to 27 years in prison.

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