The US Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts on Monday announced the extradition of Vladislav Klyushin, a Russian business executive with ties to the Kremlin, on charges of hacking US computer networks and committing securities fraud by trading on undisclosed financial data.
Klyushin, 41, a resident of Moscow, Russia, was arrested in Sion, Switzerland on March 21, 2021, reportedly upon disembarking from his private jet while on vacation with his family. The following month, Russia asked that he be sent home and, almost two weeks later, the US asked that he be sent to America for trial. The Swiss rejected Russia’s request for being incompatible with its laws and eventually accepted the American request.
On Monday, the Department of Justice unsealed charges against Klyushin in advance of his expected appearance in court. The feds accuse him of conspiring to access computers without authorization and to commit wire and securities fraud, and with obtaining unauthorized access to computers and then committing wire and securities fraud.
Klyushin, also spelled “Kliushin,” said in the government’s complaint [PDF] to be the owner of penetration testing firm M-13, is one of five co-defendants. The others, who remain at large, are: Ivan Ermakov, 35, of Moscow, a former officer in the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU); Nikolai Rumiantcev, 33, of Moscow; Mikhail Vladimirovich Irzak, 43, of St. Petersburg, Russia; and Igor Sergeevich Sladkov, 42, of St. Petersburg.
Ermakov, also spelled “Yermakov,” is one of seven alleged GRU agents charged by the Justice Department in October, 2018, with computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering related to the 2016 US election and to disinformation operations that targeted sports and anti-doping organizations.
M-13, according to the US government’s complaint, provided IT and media monitoring services, cyber security consulting, and penetration testing, and claimed prominent Russian government officials and agencies as clients. The firm is also said to have offered investment management in exchange for 60 per cent of investors’ profit – not a particularly appealing rate unless extraordinary profits were assured.
From around January, 2018, through September, 2020, Klyushin, Ermakov, and Rumiantcev are