6-month sentence for man who sold bank accounts to Russians

WASHINGTON (AP) — A California man will serve six months in prison for unwittingly helping the Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 presidential elections.

A federal judge in Washington has sentenced Richard Pinedo to six months imprisonment followed by six months of home detention for selling bank account numbers to Russian operatives.

According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the Russians used those bank accounts to set up PayPal accounts and purchase advertisements on Facebook.

The 28-year-old Pinedo pleaded guilty to identity fraud. He testified before a grand jury and prosecutors acknowledged that Pinedo had cooperated fully with Mueller’s investigation.

Pinedo’s lawyer, Jeremy Lessem, says he’d hoped to avoid any prison time for Pinedo and described his client as a small-time criminal caught up in a global conspiracy.

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