Switzerland expedites to the U.S. Russian Businessman with Kremlin ties

On Monday, the Justice Department announced the extradition of Russian businessman Vladislav Klyushin to the U.S. from Switzerland for charges in an insider trading scheme to infiltrate U.S. computer networks.

The owner of the Russian company, M-13, Klyushin, is charged with four others for potentially hacking into significant publicly traded U.S. firms to access earnings reports and different data before the companies went public and how they traded shares based on that confidential information.

During a news conference on Monday, Nathaniel R. Mendell, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, labeled the incident as a “sophisticated and lucrative scheme.”

“They hacked U.S. networks, stole inside information, and cheated honest investors out of millions of dollars,” Mendell stated.

“The other four suspects remain at large,” he added.

After the Swiss authorities put Klyushin on a flight to the U.S., the Department of Treasury released an official statement revealing that a top executive from the IT firm would be tried in a court of law for these charges, which could expose him to potential decades’ of prison time.

From his part, Klyushin accused the U.S. of using its authority to fulfill ulterior political motives, denying all allegations surfacing from the press.

The IT company is accused of association with the Kremlin ties and delivered “IT solutions” adopted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, federal ministries, departments, and regional state executive personas.

“Today’s cyber threats are more persuasive, have a wider variety of victims, and potential for far greater damage than ever before,” said Albert Murray III, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge to the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.

“Make no mistake, individuals who hack into the U.S. businesses, no matter if it’s to install ransomware or steal sensitive information as part of a sophisticated white-collar conspiracy, risk coming to the attention of the FBI and going to jail,” he added.

According to Mendel, the only reason Klyushin was out into custody was his act of leaving for Switzerland in March 2021, and ever since his detention, the accused resisted the U.S. extradition.

“We take the position that the U.S. indictment and extradition are disingenuous and that the real reason for Mr. Klyushin’s arrest and the extradition to the U.S. is in connection with the nature of his work for and contacts within the Russian government,” said one of Klyushin’s attorney’s, Oliver Ciric.

The U.S. and Russia have indulged in diplomatic battles for years, and any accused Russian hacker is caught in the crossfire and is not presented with an extradition agreement.a

The Justice Department of Justice has encouraged its allies to follow in Washington’s footsteps and extradite Russian cybercriminals living abroad. In parallel, Moscow follows in the U.S.’ lead and submits opposing extradition requests to bring back to Russia the accused before the U.S. gets a hold of them.