A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails posed an "extremely high flight risk" in part due to his alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents, law enforcement officials allege in documents filed with an Ontario court.
In an application for Karim Baratov's arrest, U.S. authorities describe the 22-year-old Hamilton resident as an alleged "hacker-for-hire" paid by members of the Russian Federal Security Service, known as the FSB.
They argue in the documents that Baratov allegedly has the money to leave Canada and the ability to destroy evidence related to his alleged activities while on the run.
"Given the serious nature of his conduct, the public impact of his hacking-for-hire conduct, his substantial earnings as a result of the unlawful hacking, and his ties to foreign intelligence officers with nation state resources at their disposal, he should be arrested on an urgent basis and detained," the documents say.
"Even assuming that Baratov does not receive assistance from his known and unknown Russian government conspirators, he possesses the skills and financial resources to flee justice," the documents say, noting that Baratov does not appear to have any "legitimate employment."
Baratov, who is of Kazakh origins, was arrested under the extradition act in the community of Ancaster last Tuesday. U.S. authorities said on Wednesday that he and three others — two of them allegedly officers of the FSB — were indicted for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.
Baratov's lawyer, Amedeo Dicarlo, has said the allegations against his client are unfounded.
Baratov appeared briefly in a Hamilton court by video link on Friday. A bail hearing has been scheduled for April 5.