Putin fear insider extradited from Switzerland to US may have DEFECTED

Putin fears Kremlin insider extradited from Switzerland to US may have DEFECTED: Russian tech tycoon is thought to know secrets of 2016 Democratic Party hack and election manipulation attempts

  • Wealthy Russian businessman Vladislav Klyushin was indicted in Boston in late December and accused of hacking and insider trading
  • He was extradited to the U.S. from Switzerland
  • He had left Russia for a ski trip with his family 
  • Sources close to the Kremlin and Russia’s intelligence sources believe Klyushin has access to documents related to the 2016 hack, Bloomberg reported
  • Member of his firm is among 12 accused of hacking Democratic groups in 2016 as part of Russian military intelligence effort 
  • Putin awarded him Russian medal of honor in 2020

A wealthy Russian businessman indicted in Boston late last year on hacking and insider trading charges could have access to documents and information about the 2016 election hacking in the U.S. 

Vladislav Klyushin was extradited to the U.S. from Switzerland late last month and charged with overseeing a multinational scam that pried privileged documents that companies were filing with U.S. regulators before they were public, then trading on the information.

Among his employees, and also named in the indictment, is Ivan Yermakov – who was among a dozen Russian military intelligence officers former special counsel Robert Mueller indicted in 2018 on charges related to 2016 election hacking. 

Sources close to the Kremlin and Russia’s intelligence sources believe Klyushin has access to documents related to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton allies, Bloomberg News reported. 

Vladislav Klyushin, also known as “Vladislav Kliushin,” 41, of Moscow, Russia, was arrested in Switzerland on March 21, 2021 and was extradited to the United States on Dec. 18, 2021

According to the report, the documents establish that a team from Russia’s GRU military intelligence unit led the hack, providing the first detailed evidence of the alleged hacking effort. 

The U.S. is pursuing the case but has not been able to try any of the alleged hackers, who remain outside the U.S. Indictments of people identified as members of the ‘Fancy Bear’ hacking team charge them with computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft.

According to the Bloomberg report, Klyushin was approached by U.S. and British spy agencies in the years before he left Russia by private jet for a ski trip with his family in Switzerland. People characterized the extradition as a ‘serious intelligence blow’ to the Kremlin. 

If he has documents central to the election hack, Klyushin could try to leverage the information about the election hack in exchange for leniency in the financial crimes he is charged with carrying out.   

Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Klyushin the Russian medal of honor in 2020

Prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging Klyushin with hacking and securities fraud


Nikolai Rumiantcev (left) and Ivan Yermakov (right) were also charged in the scheme

Prosecutors working for former special counsel Robert Mueller charged members of a Russian military intelligence unit with hacking Democratic groups during the 2016 elections

A backdrop for the high-stakes court fight is a Russian troop buildup along its border with Ukraine

Providing a backdrop for the intelligence drama is a tense situation in Ukraine, where Russia’s military has massed thousands of troops, and U.S. officials warn of a possible invasion. 

Russian President, who U.S. officials believe ordered the election hack, has defended Russia’s military moves, and is demanding security assurances from the U.S. and NATO on expansion of the alliance and its own military posture on Russia’s western flank.   

The indictment says Klyushin’s company, M-13, worked for the Russian government. The company says it provides media monitoring and cyber-security services. But according to the indictment, it hacked reports destined for the Security and Exchange Commission from such firms as Tesla, Roku, Snap and Steel Dynamics. Also charged in the scheme is Nikolai Rumiantcev.

Klyushin’s insider status is further established by the Russian medal of honor that Putin bestowed on him in June 2020, just 18 months before he left the country. Prosecutors included a photo of the medal in a filing in opposition to Klyushin’s bail request to remain confined in an apartment pending his trial.

Prosecutors opposed his request to be released on a $2.5 million bond, calling him a flight risk and citing his ownership of a $4 million yacht, a safe containing $3 million, and a Danish trading account responsible for nearly $9 million in transfers over the last year and a half. 

‘He’s accused of crimes he fully intends to defend himself against,’ Klyushin’s lawyer Maksim Nemtsev said at a bail hearing last month. He said in a filing Klyushin plans to fight the government’s case ‘in a lawful, professional and principled manner.’

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