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US attempts to confiscate $700 million worth of assets of Russian oligarchs

Friday, 23 February 2024, 03:59
US attempts to confiscate $700 million worth of assets of Russian oligarchs
Ritz Carlton Miami, Bal Harbour, where the apartments of a Russian oligarch are to be confiscated, photo: open sources

Representatives of the US Department of Justice have unveiled a wide range of lawsuits against Russian oligarchs and their allies and announced the arrests of two "intermediaries" of a sanctioned Russian oligarch.

Source: Voice of America; Washington Post; US Department of Justice

Details: The US Department of Justice has filed 70 criminal charges against individuals and five charges against legal entities, in which the US administration is seeking to confiscate assets worth approximately US$700 million.

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US media reported that the Biden administration is seeking to increase financial pressure on President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine and the death of Alexei Navalny, a Russian politician and anti-corruption activist.

The Justice Department also announced the filing of a civil lawsuit to confiscate two luxury Miami apartments located in the Ritz Carlton in Bal Harbor worth US$2.5 million, owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Perevalov.

A separate indictment has also been filed in connection with an alleged scheme to manage a luxury yacht owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch.

This concerns Vladislav Osipov, a 52-year-old Russian who has been charged with 17 offences, including bank fraud, money laundering, sanctions violations and conspiracy to defraud the US government.

The Swiss-based Russian is accused of operating a 255-foot luxury superyacht allegedly owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, the ministry said in a statement.

Quote from Attorney General Merrick Garland: "The Justice Department is more committed than ever to cutting off the flow of illegal funds that are fueling Putin’s war and to holding accountable those who continue to enable it."

More details: Earlier, the US Department of State announced a reward of up to US$1 million for any information about Osipov that could lead to his arrest and subsequent conviction.

The reward is offered under the US State Department's Transnational Organised Crime Rewards Programme (TOCRP).

The Russian-Swiss national is believed to have held senior positions in companies owned by Vekselberg, the State Department said.

According to the Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that 70 criminal charges have been filed against individuals and five charges against legal entities, in which the US administration is trying to confiscate assets worth approximately US$700 million.

Earlier, the US Department of Justice said that about US$6 million of seized Russian assets had been transferred to Ukraine, primarily to help war veterans.

Additionally, the WP wrote that the Department of Justice reported that the authorities of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York announced charges against three people, including sanctioned oligarch Andrey Kostin, and arrested two people accused of being Kostin's "intermediaries".

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