June 26, 2022

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Russian Businessman Made Millions In Insider Trading Through Hacking, U.S. Says

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BOSTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – A Russian government-linked businessman who was extradited to the United States from Switzerland carried out a global, multi-million-dollar insider trading scheme using corporate information stolen from U.S. computer networks, prosecutors said on Monday.

Vladislav Klyushin, whose company offers media monitoring and cybersecurity services to clients including the Russian government, was charged by federal prosecutors in Boston along with four other Russians.

Prosecutors accuse them of conspiring to trade on non-public information ahead of earnings announcements by hacking into the networks of two vendors that help companies filing quarterly and annual reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Those companies included IBM Corp (IBM.N), Snap Inc (SNAP.N) and Steel Dynamics Inc (STLD.O). The scheme netted the defendants tens of millions of dollars from 2018 to 2020, according to charging papers.

Klyushin’s U.S. lawyer had no immediate comment.

Klyushin, 41, was extradited on Saturday from Switzerland, where he arrested in March while on a ski trip. His Swiss lawyer had called the case a politically motivated pretext to secure his extradition.

His legal team has said the real reason for the extradition request was his work and contacts within the Russian government that gave him access to security information.

They said he came under U.S. prosecutors’ scrutiny because they accused one of his work colleagues of hacking into files of the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to help sway the 2016 election.

One of his employees at his company M-13 LLC, Ivan Yermakov, was among 12 purported Russian military intelligence officers charged in 2018 with hacking offenses related to the election.

Yermakov was charged alongside Klyushin in a March 2021 criminal complaint unsealed on Monday. He could not be reached for comment.

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