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USA: UK Businessman Arrested for Economic Sanctions Evasion Benefitting Russian Oligarch

A UK businessman has been arrested in the United States for evading economic sanctions imposed on the Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska for involvement in the invasion of Ukraine.

A UK national was arrested on the 11th of October 2022 for conspiracy to violate the sanctions imposed by the United States on Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska as well as for the perpetration of wire fraud in connection with funding properties purchased by the oligarch in the United States and efforts to expatriate Deripaska’s artwork in the United States through misrepresentations.

The Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska was designated by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as a Specially Designated National (SDN) on April 6, 2018. designated Deripaska as a Specially Designated National (SDN). The designation was made in relation to the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine that have been considered an unusual and extraordinary threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy.

As alleged in the indictment, after Deripaska’s designation, the UK businessman engaged in over $1 million of illicit transactions to fund real estate properties in the United States for the oligarch’s benefit.

Between March 2021 and December 2021, while in Deripaska’s employ, he transmitted payments for the upkeep of the US properties. Such wired payments totaling $1,043,964.30 from a bank account in Russia held in the name of GBCM Limited, to bank accounts held by Gracetown Inc. in New York City. Gracetown Inc. used the funds from GBCM Limited to pay for various expenses associated with the US properties, including staff salaries, property taxes, and other services, and to maintain and keep up the US properties.

As alleged, the businessman also attempted to unlawfully transfer artwork purchased by the oligarch from an auction house in New York City to London through misrepresentations concealing Deripaska’s ownership.

The businessman is charged in a three-count indictment with one count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), one count of violating IEEPA and one count of wire fraud, each of which counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Press Release (October 11, 2022) - US Department of Justice

Justice News (October 11, 2022) - US Department of Justice Please find the indictment below:

US Indictment for Economic Sanction Violation (2022)
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