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Canadian Judge Denies Bail to Alleged Yahoo Hacker

A judge denied bail Tuesday to a Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails, arguing he had the means and incentive to flee.

Karim Baratov, 22, has alleged ties to Russian agents and access to significant amounts of cash, making him a serious flight risk if freed on bail, a prosecutor said.

Baratov was arrested last month and faces extradition to the U.S. He was indicted in the United States for computer hacking along with three other people, including two alleged Russian intelligence agents.

Justice Alan Whitten denied bail in a written decision, saying Baratov appeared to be highly skilled at hacking and calling the U.S. case extremely strong.

“Baratov is a flight risk. He could instantaneously access the funds,” the judge wrote. “He can ply his trade from anywhere in the world.”

Baratov looked at his parents and shrugged when he exited the courtroom.

U.S. law enforcement officials call Baratov a “hacker-for-hire” paid by Russian Federal Security Service members. He has Kazakh origins, arriving in Canada in 2007 and becoming a citizen in 2011.

“It would appear that Baratov’s activities were quite the cash cow: a million by age 15 and the array of extremely expensive sports cars,” the judge said in his ruling. “There is the potential for further income … Baratov would appear to be a valuable operative for the FSB.”

Prosecutor Heather Graham noted earlier that Baratov owned a number of luxury cars and flaunted his lifestyle on social media. She also said he has webmail and PayPal accounts with “large unknown sums of money” accessible anywhere. Graham said police seized about $22,000 ($30,000 Canadian) cash from his home and another $670 ($900 Canadian) from his wallet when he was arrested.

She also said there is evidence Baratov may have been trafficking in identity information. And there are allegations he continued hacking…


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