A Russian businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and accused of being involved in an insider trading and hacking scheme will be detained pending trial, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled on Monday morning. 

Vladislav Klyushin, an owner of an information technology company with ties to the Russian government.U.S. Dept. of Justice via Reuters

Vladislav Klyushin, 41, had sought to be released pending his federal trial in Boston. He proposed a $2.5 million bond comprised of properties in Russia and the U.K. as well as hiring private guards to assure his presence in court. 

But Judge Marianne Bowler denied bail, saying that Klyushin had “absolutely no incentive to remain in this country.”

“This court is not convinced that a defendant, who is an individual well-versed in sophisticated financial matters, has access to substantial financial resources and absolutely no ties to this country, will appear as required.”

Bowler wrote that a Pretrial Services report lists $7 million in Russian and London real-estate as well as a yacht valued in excess of $4 million as just some of the assets Klyushin allegedly has. 

She also cited the lack of any extradition treaty with Russia and the difficulty of seizing his London property if he fled the country as two of the reasons for denying him his release.

A U.S. attorney for Klyushin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kremlin-linked Russian businessman was extradited to the U.S. from Switzerland in December. He was arrested on insider trading and computer hacking charges and had previously spurned approaches by U.S. and British intelligence agencies while traveling in Europe, his lawyer told NBC News.

U.S. officials described the businessman, Klyushin, as being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and one of his co-defendants in the insider trading case has also been charged with 2016 election hacking.

“He was perceived by U.S. intelligence as someone who may have confidential information or state secrets,” said Oliver Ciric, who represented Klyushin in a bid to keep the Swiss government from extraditing him to the U.S.

Some of the charges carry maximum terms of 20 years in prison — a possibility that appears to hand U.S. intelligence agencies considerable leverage.

Klyushin was arrested when he flew in a private jet with his family to Switzerland for a ski vacation in March and was held there until he was flown to Boston over the weekend.

Ciric said his argument to Swiss judges In his unsuccessful bid to stop the extradition was that “this is not a simple case of insider trading — the insider trading charges are disingenuous.”

He added, “It’s not a secret that his company had a series of government contracts in Russia, including with some of the national intelligence agencies.”



Source link