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Denied bail

Karim Baratov will remain behind bars until an extradition hearing to the United States

Canadian accused in Yahoo hack denied bail

A young Canadian accused of playing a part in the massive Yahoo hack will remain behind bars until an extradition hearing determines if he will face charges in the United States.

A judge in Hamilton, Ontario denied Karim Baratov bail on Tuesday, deeming that his release posed too much of a risk.

“Baratov is a flight risk.”

“Why would he stick around?” Justice Alan Whitten was quoted as saying in a nine-page written decision.

“Baratov is a flight risk,” the judge added. “He could instantaneously access the necessary funds … He can ply his trade from anywhere on the world.”

Baratov, who is 22, was arrested last month at his house in Hamilton, accused of helping Russian intelligence officers gain “access to individual user accounts at Google and other providers (but not Yahoo)” and paid a bounty for providing them with the account passwords, according to a federal indictment. His co-accused also includes Alexsey Belan, a notorious hacker who has been wanted in the U.S. for four years.

Crown prosecutors invoked Belan at Baratov’s bail hearing, noting that the alleged co-conspirator is still on the run from the FBI and Interpol, after he skipped on bail in Greece in 2013.

Baratov faces nearly 30 years in prison, if he is extradited and convicted of all three charges.

The information was then allegedly used to hack into the email accounts of various political and business leaders in Russia and the United States.

His charges relate to only a small fraction of the thousands of email accounts there were compromised by the wider hack, allegedly orchestrated by the Russian intelligence agents. According to the Crown, some of the people targeted by Baratov were Russian government and law enforcement officials.

“He is alleged to be one of the members of the criminal organization to have personally carried out the hacking activities, harvesting vast amounts of personal and confidential information, including passwords and personal identity details, to hand over to Russian intelligence officers,” wrote Crown attorney Heather Graham in court documents, as quoted by the National Post.  

Baratov faces nearly 30 years in prison, if he is extradited and convicted of all three charges.

Baratov was arrested with $30,000 of cash in his house, and another $9,000 in his wallet.

Whitten was unconvinced that Baratov’s parents, who offered up electronic monitoring and vowed to keep him away from computers, were capable of keeping an eye on him.

“The parents were obviously prepared to turn a blind eye to their son’s activities on the Internet, and they benefitted in turn by his financial contribution,” he wrote.

Baratov was arrested with $30,000 of cash in his house, and another $9,000 in his wallet, according to Crown attorney Heather Graham. More than 210,000 was deposited into his paypal account between 2013 and 2016, and he allegedly earned another $210,000 in Webmoney, a Russian-based online currency, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Cover: Photo via Facebook

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