Before the 1917 Revolution, involved in communist activity. Arrested and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. After the October Revolution 1917, became a Cheka agent.
Worked in Poland, Germany, Austria and other countries. Ordered to organize a Soviet spy network in Britain from Holland, 1927. In the 1930s, operated in France under the then head of Soviet espionage, M. Shpigelgliass.
Ordered to return to the Soviet Union, July 1937. Defected and wrote an open letter denouncing the crimes of the Stalinist secret police. Went to Switzerland on a Czech passport.
Lured by Shpigelgliass, with the help of his former girlfriend, to a rendezvous with a GPU assassination squad sent from Paris. His body was found with multiple gun wounds in a hired car on a road near Lausanne.