Group-IB Founder Sentenced in Russia to 14 Years for Treason

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The Moscow City Court has sentenced Ilya Sachkov, the founder of cybersecurity provider Group-IB, to 14 years in prison for ‘state treason.’

The sentence was confirmed on July 26, 2023, by US press agency Associated Press, a few days after the Russian state prosecution asked the court to impose an 18 year jail sentence on Sachkov.

Judge Alexander Rybak said, "The court found Sachkov guilty under Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code and sentenced him to 14 years in prison with the sentence to be served in a strict regime penal colony.”

Sachkov was arrested on September 29, 2021, after criticizing the Russian government's response to ransomware attacks emanating from the country.

He had since resigned from his role at Group-IB and sold his stake in the international branch of the group, now headquartered in Singapore. He still has a stake in the Russian legal entity, which will continue operating under a new brand, F.A.C.C.T. (Fight Against Cybercrime Technologies).

Top Russian banks and companies, including those run by the state, are among the company’s clients.

However, Sachkov’s lawyer, Sergei Afanasyev, told Russian press agency Interfax on July 21, 2023, that the claims against him are not related to the activities of Group-IB.

His trial was held behind closed doors, which is conventional practice for treason trials, and little is publicly known about the case against him. According to Interfax, he is accused of transferring information containing state secrets abroad. He denied the accusation.

His mother, partner, and several supporters were present for the verdict.

Group-IB confirmed in a statement that it has “full confidence in Ilya’s innocence. While he remains wrongfully imprisoned, we will continue to stand up against injustice and operate our business with the same mission in mind — to fight against cybercrime.”

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