A federal magistrate judge took no action today on a request from a Russian executive that he be allowed to await trial on fraud charges here in an apartment in the Seaport rather than continue being locked up in a cell at the Plymouth County House of Correction, where he has been held since his extradition from Switzerland last week.
At a hearing today, US District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said she will withhold any decision on bail for Vladislav Dmitriyevich Klyushin, 41, until after prosecutors give her a translated copy of a Swiss court's decision to deny him bail until he was extradited to the US and after Klyushin's attorney gives her additional details on his offer to hire a private security firm to stand guard over him in a Seaport apartment until trial and a link to a federal court ruling in another state he says allows rich defendants to hire private guards to keep them in place.
Bowler did set a Jan. 3 date for arraignment for Klyushin, who is charged with working with four of his employees at a Moscow company to break into servers containing the financial records of US public companies before the information was publicly released, allegedly letting them make some $80 million in profits in stock trades.
The four employees of M-13 remain in Russia; Klyushin was nabbed earlier this year in a small Swiss town where he was to transfer from a chartered jet to a chartered helicopter to ferry him to a Swiss ski resort. He, and the Russian government, spent eight months in Swiss courts fighting extradition here to face charges the US Attorney's office filed the day before he was due to arrive in Switzerland.
At the hearing today, Klyushin, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, appeared via a Zoom call and listened via an interpreter as assistant US Attorney Seth Kosto said nothing would keep Klyushin here to actually face trial on charges that could mean a sentence of more than 20 years.
Kosto said he's far richer than he's letting on, so the $2.5 million in Swiss francs and a London condo would be losses he could simply write off if he disappeared, he has no ties at all to the US and Massachusetts - aside from allegedly breaking into the American servers via a Boston data center - but he does have ties to the Russian government, from which he won a medal of honor and which formerly employed one of the other four men as a military-intelligence officer.
Also, the US and Russia have no extradition treaty, Kosto said.
So even if Klyushin did actually step foot in the Seaport apartment Nemtsev says he's already secured, he wouldn't stay there for long, GPS ankle bracelet or no, Kosto said. Even without the help of the Russian government - which has objected to his arrest and extradition - Klyushin has the kind of wealth and connections that would let him flee so easily.
His proposed apartment is just "150 yards from Boston Harbor," Kosto said. "He could probably walk out of the building and step onto a boat in a matter of minutes."
Nemtsev, however, said that in addition to being a man of honor and honesty who has assured him he wants to clear his name in court, Klyushin has other reasons to be released on bail before his trial.
Nemtsev said Klyushin's wife and children would fly to Boston and take an apartment next to Klyushin's, which would give him an incentive to stay here and go to trial.
Also, the case will prove a complex one, in part for the necessity to translate so many documents from Russian into English and letting Klyushin help with his own defense would be greatly eased by letting him spend hours a day in an apartment on his defense. Now, Nemtsev said, Klyushin is locked up in a cell for 22 hours a day, only leaving him two hours for such things as exercise, let alone working on a complex legal case.
And Nemtsev said, Klyushin volunteered to pay for a private guard detail to watch over him to make sure he didn't just speed out of Boston Harbor.
He cited several cases, including that involving former New England mob boss Raymond Patriarca, to prove that wealth by itself should not be a reason to withhold bail from somebody - or to let them use that wealth to arrange a way to not be held in a county lockup.
Kosto, however, objected, saying it's unfair to let some rich guy essentially set up his own jail. The Plymouth County House of Correction is perfectly capable of ensuring a prisoner doesn't try to escape, he said.
Bowler, for her part, repeatedly asked Nemtsev whether the cases he cited to make his case to let Klyushin out with private guards involved Americans or people from countries with which the US has extradition treaties.