Russian businessman arrested by US accused of stealing earnings reports from Tesla and others

Swiss authorities in Zurich put Vladislav Klyushin, a Russian businessman widely known for his connections to the Kremlin, on a flight to the United States on Saturday, ending a months-long extradition battle that has cast a veil on the Putin-Biden talks this summer in Geneva.

Swiss journalists first confirmed Klyushin’s extradition on Saturday evening; the US Department of Justice said on Monday that the 41-year-old, a senior official at the Moscow-based computer company called M-13, would be tried for insider trading, citing information that was allegedly “stolen from the US computer networks, “” cleaning up “tens of millions of dollars in illegal profits.

Overall, the charges potentially relate to decades in prison.

Klyushin, whose company promotes cybersecurity and media monitoring services and apparently works with the Kremlin and government ministries, has repeatedly denied the accusations in the press through his lawyer, while accusing the United States to have political ulterior motives.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said Klyushin and four partners adopted a plan between 2018 and 2020 to gamble on the stock markets by stealing confidential earnings reports from several U.S. companies. These reports allegedly enabled the group – which includes a former intelligence officer previously indicted by the United States in a 2016 election hacking case – to buy and sell stocks armed with inside knowledge of the rise or fall. price drop.

“As alleged, Klyushin and his co-defendants used various illegal and malicious means to gain access to computer networks in order to carry out their illegal trade scheme,” FBI Deputy Special Agent Albert Murray III said in a statement.

Ivan Ermakov, believed to be a former Russian military intelligence officer – one of 12 indicted in 2018 for interference in the 2016 US presidential election – is indicted alongside Klyushin and accused of hacking at least one of the networks used to compromise US companies including Tesla Inc., SS&C Technologies, Capstead Mortgage Corp. and Nevro Corp., the US attorney said.

In a story this month about Ilya Sachkov, another disgraced Russian businessman, Bloomberg reported that the 35-year-old, once the head of a major security firm, may have been the target. treason charges after providing information to Western agencies about Klyushin. According to Bloomberg, Sachkov could also be suspected of having shared details about one of the Russian hacking teams behind the campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

Dismissing hacking and insider trading charges ahead of his extradition this month, Klyushin’s attorney Oliver Ciric told reporters the US government case was a ruse designed to press Klyushin into obtaining information. on the election campaign.

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