The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday announced the extradition of a Russian national, Vladislav Klyushin, to the US from Switzerland to face charges in a multimillion-dollar scheme to trade on non-public, insider information stolen from US computer networks. The authorities have charged four other Russian nationals in the scheme who have not yet been apprehended.
Klyushin was arrested in Sion by Swiss authorities on March 21 but extradited to the US only last Sunday. He has been charged with “conspiring to obtain unauthorized access to computers, and to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, and with obtaining unauthorized access to computers, wire fraud and securities fraud”. The four co-accused, Ivan Ermakov, Nikolai Rumiantcev, Mikhail Vladimirovich Irzak and Igor Sergeevich Sladkov, face similar charges. All five accused have been charged in the District of Massachusetts.
The documents allege that the accused worked at a Moscow-based IT company where Klyushin served as the deputy general director. The company offered IT solutions that purportedly sought exploitable vulnerabilities in a computer system for defensive purposes. Between January 2018 and September 2020, they traded in securities of publicly traded companies based on material non-public information about the earnings of those companies, in advance of the public announcements of financial performances. This information was acquired by gaining unauthorized access to the computer networks of filing agents. The DOJ alleges that the co-accused knew whether share prices were likely to rise or fall after the public announcement of financial performances and traded illegally to earn several million dollars in profits.
The charges are punishable with up to 20 years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.