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U.S. Catches Kremlin Insider Who May Have Secrets of 2016 Hack

IT executive Vladislav Klyushin’s journey into U.S. custody is a blow to the Kremlin, say people familiar with a Russian intelligence assessment of what he may have to offer

The Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt, ski destination of Klyushin and family.
The Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt, ski destination of Klyushin and family.Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
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In the days before Christmas, U.S. officials in Boston unveiled insider trading charges against a Russian tech tycoon they had been pursuing for months. They accused Vladislav Klyushin, who’d been extradited from Switzerland on Dec. 18, of illegally making tens of millions of dollars trading on hacked corporate-earnings information.

Yet as authorities laid out their securities fraud case, a striking portrait of the detainee emerged: Klyushin was not only an accused insider trader, but a Kremlin insider. He ran an information technology company that works with the Russian government’s top echelons. Just 18 months earlier, Klyushin received a medal of honor from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. had, in its custody, the highest-level Kremlin insider handed to U.S. law enforcement in recent memory.