20 years in jail in the United States for a Quebec hacker

20 years in jail in the United States for a Quebec hacker


A Quebec hacker and drug trafficker who extorted nearly $28 million through ransomware has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison in Florida for his crimes.

“You have one of the worst records I have ever seen,” Judge William Jung told Sébastien Vachon-Desjardins, according to what the Tampa Bay Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The magistrate even compared him to Jesse James, a famous thief who raged in the United States in the 19th century.

The 34-year-old Quebecer was arrested in January 2021 since he had extracted major sums between April and December 2020, thanks to the Netwalker malware.

The authorities had seized 719 bitcoins from his residence in Gatineau, which were then worth more than US$28 million, the equivalent today of some C$38 million.


The New York company Chainanalysis, which helped the FBI catch him studying his bitcoin transactions, had estimated the criminal had contributed to at least 91 attacks with Netwalker.

Among the victims were businesses, schools, and especially health organizations around the world in the midst of the COVID crisis, which have suffered losses of approximately US$40 million.

In total, more than 400 entities were affected in 30 countries, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

< p>In 2015, this computer technician and former federal government employee was also sentenced to 42 months in prison for drug trafficking.

According to a judgment on his provisional release, his residence was used as a cache, Le Journal reported in January 2021.