(Bloomberg) -- Gery Shalon, the mastermind of sweeping hacks on the US financial system early last decade, returned to Israel after being allowed to leave US custody two years ago, his father said in an interview broadcast in the Republic of Georgia.

Shalon was extradited from Israel in 2015 and accused of running what then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch called “one of the largest thefts of financial-related data in history.” He faced 23 counts and potentially decades in prison, accused of running a scheme that pilfered client information from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies. He also was accused of running online gambling, stock manipulation and money-laundering operations globally.

But as co-conspirators were jailed, Shalon wasn’t put on trial. Documents made public years later show that in 2017, he pleaded guilty in a sealed courtroom to all 23 counts. He later agreed to forfeit more than $400 million, the documents show.

In 2019, Bloomberg reported he was cooperating with US authorities. The lingering question remains: what kind of information could Shalon have provided that would have resulted in leniency given the severity of the charges?

Shalon’s previously unreported return to Israel would deepen the mystery that has surrounded him and his case, as many key documents remain sealed in Manhattan federal court.

A spokesman for US Attorney Damian Williams in Manhattan had no immediate comment.

Shalon’s father, Shota Shalelashvili, a former member of the Georgian Parliament, disclosed his son’s release Thursday in an interview on Georgian business channel BMG. The half-hour segment focused on Shalelashvili’s return to Georgia and his political aspirations. The reporter, Georgi Isakadze, also asked Shalelashvili about his son’s status: “Is it over? And how did it end?”

“On January 8, 2021, there was a court session in the US — it ended the same day with his absolute freedom,” Shalelashvili said. Asked whether his son had been cleared of wrongdoing, Shalelashvili responded, “The result was that his freedom wasn’t impacted. He was let go.”

“He is in Israel now,” Shalelashvili added. “But I think he plans to go back to the US. His skills are too big for Israel.”

Shalelashvili, who was born in Georgia, emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel, where he raised his family. He returned to Georgia in 2016, after his son’s arrest and gained a seat in the country’s parliament. He later returned to Israel.

In 2018, Andrei Tyurin, the hacker accused of carrying out the cyber breaches on Shalon’s behalf, was arrested in the Republic of Georgia. The Moscow-based Tyurin was extradited to the US and pleaded guilty the next year. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

On the day of Tyurin’s sentencing, Jan. 7, 2021, Shalon agreed to forfeit $413.7 million, traceable to the crimes he admitted. The next day, in a court proceeding, Shalon was allowed to leave the US, his father said. The public docket doesn’t reflect such a hearing.

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