Russia calls US conviction of Kremlin-linked businessman ‘politically motivated’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow has dismissed as “politically motivated” the conviction of Russian businessman Vladislav Klyushin in a U.S. court for his involvement in a $93 million insider trading scheme, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday.

Klyushin, who has ties to the Kremlin, was sentenced to nine years in prison on September 7 after being found guilty in February of trading stocks using hacked secret earnings information from several companies.

According to prosecutors, from 2018 to 2020, hackers viewed and downloaded yet-to-be-announced earnings reports from hundreds of companies, including Tesla and Microsoft, whose shares Klyushin and others then traded before the news was made public.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry said the allegations against Klyushin, the owner of a Moscow-based information technology company called M-13 that worked for the Russian government, were completely far-fetched and fabricated,” according to the RIA.

It says he is “another victim of the fanatical Russophobia that now prevails in the power structures abroad.”

“We will continue to demand that the US authorities put an end to legal arbitrariness against Russian citizens,” the ministry said, according to RIA.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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