The Justice Department has charged billionaire Oleg Deripaska with violating sanctions imposed on him and other allies of Vladimir Putin in 2018 for Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Authorities say Deripaska used three women — who are listed as co-defendants on the indictment, which was unsealed Thursday — to “utilize U.S. financial institutions to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of services for his benefit in the United States,” according to a DOJ press release.
“Despite his cozy ties with the Kremlin and his vast wealth acquired through ties to a corrupt regime, Deripaska did all he could to lead a life in a stable, free, democratic society — even if that meant lying and evading U.S. sanctions,” Andrew Adams, director of the DOJ’s Task Force KleptoCapture, said in a statement. “The hypocrisy in seeking comfort and citizenship in the United States, while enjoying the fruits of a ruthless, anti-democratic regime, is striking.”
Deripaska is one of seven oligarchs, a dozen of their companies, and 17 Russian government officials the Trump administration sanctioned in 2018, essentially preventing them from entering the U.S. or doing business with companies or banks in the nation.
Deripaska has long been tied to Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, who in 2019 was sentenced to over seven years in prison for a variety of crimes. The former spent years financing the latter’s work on behalf of the Kremlin, including a $10 million annual contract Deripaska gave Manafort in 2006 to advance a plan to “greatly benefit the Putin government.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.