Russian businessman faces trial for US hack-and-trade charges

BOSTON—A Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin made tens of millions of dollars in deals on secret financial information hackers obtained about companies before they were made public, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday. said at the start.

Vladislav Klyushin, 42, and his associates have made about $90 million in trading stock based on as-yet-unreleased information about hundreds of companies stolen by hackers, according to assistant federal prosecutor Stephen Steven. Stephen Frank told a federal jury in Boston.

Klyushin, whose Moscow-based tech company M-13 worked for Vladimir Putin’s government in Russia, personally turned his $2 million investment into $21 million and recruited other investors to join the scheme. said Frank.

“The defendant had tomorrow’s news, tomorrow’s headlines, today,” Frank said in his opening statement.

However, defense attorney Maksim Nemtsev said that Kryushin had no reason to cheat after he had already achieved financial success through his business, and that the prosecution’s case was based on “big holes and reasoning.” countered.

“It’s not illegal to be Russian, to have wealth, to have an IT technology company that has a contract with the government,” Nemtsev told the jury.

Vladislav Kryushin
Vladislav Klyushin, owner of an information technology company with ties to the Russian government, is pictured in an undated photo attached to a US Department of Justice filing. (Document handed out by U.S. Department of Justice/Reuters)

The three-week trial comes at a time when US-Russia relations reached a low point after Moscow invaded Ukraine last February. And although the lawsuit against Klyushin predates the war, his connection with the Kremlin has long piqued the interest of US officials.

Klyushin was arrested in Switzerland during a ski trip in March 2021 and subsequently extradited. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, computer unauthorized access, and securities fraud.

Prosecutors have accused Kryushin’s company, M-13, of a former Russian wanted by the U.S. government for alleged involvement in a hacking plot aimed at interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He said he hired a military intelligence officer.

During Monday’s trial, Frank said hacker Ivan Ermakov and others compromised the networks of Donnelly Financial Solutions and Toppan Merrill, two companies that help listed companies file reports with securities regulators. said.

Between 2018 and 2020, hackers viewed and downloaded unpublished earnings reports from hundreds of companies, including Tesla, Microsoft and Coles, Frank said. Klyushin and others were trading with these companies before the news was made public, the people said.

“It wasn’t a stroke of luck or careful financial research,” Frank said. “The defendant was deceived.”

Nate Raymond