A Russian national has been extradited to the United States, where he faces charges related to his alleged involvement in an operation to trade on nonpublic information taken from US computer networks. The scheme generated tens of millions of dollars in illicit profits, the Justice Department wrote in a release.
Vladislav Klyushin was arrested in Sion, Switzerland, on March 21, 2021, and extradited to the US on Dec. 18. He is charged with conspiring to obtain unauthorized access to computers and to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, as well as obtaining unauthorized access to computers, wire fraud, and securities fraud.
Four other Russian nationals were also charged as part of this operation, the DoJ reports. Ivan Ermakov, Nikolai Rumiantcev, Mikhail Vladimirovich Irzak, and Igor Sergeevich Sladkov all remain at large.
Charging documents state the five individuals worked at Moscow-based IT company M-13, which purported to offer penetration testing and advanced persistent threat emulation. In addition to these, three of the defendants, including Klyushin, allegedly offered investment management services through M-13 to investors in exchange for up to 60% of the profit.
Around the time between January 2018 and September 2020, the defendants allegedly agreed to trade in the securities of publicly traded companies based on material nonpublic information (MPNI) about these companies’ earnings, ahead of the public financial results. The information was allegedly obtained via unauthorized intrusions into computer networks of two US-based filing agents — organizations that publicly traded companies use to make quarterly and annual filings through the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The charging documents state that Klyushin and co-conspirators gained access to the filing agents’ computer networks and stole the data, which allowed them to see how companies would perform and trade accordingly.
Read the full DoJ release for more information.