According to an FBI spokesman, the FBI is conducting “law enforcement action” at the Washington, DC, residence of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
It’s unknown why the searches are happening. An official stated that the action was connected to a federal investigation in New York. The home’s driveway was blocked off by “crime scene do not enter” police tape, and several officers were parked on the street outside.
Deripaska, 53, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, was sanctioned by the U.S in 2018 along with six other Russian oligarchs, their businesses, and senior Russian government officials.
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In a statement announcing the sanctions, the Treasury Department stated that he was being investigated for “money laundering and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally eavesdropping a government official, and engaging in extortion and racketeering.” Deripaska lost a lawsuit seeking to get the penalties repealed earlier this year.
According to the oligarch’s spokesman, Larisa Belyaeva, the FBI is inspecting two residences owned by relatives of Deripaska in connection with those penalties.
The spokeswoman said “The searches are being carried out on the basis of two court orders, connected to U.S. sanctions. The houses do not belong to Mr Deripaska.”
Deripaska amassed his fortune as a metals merchant in the 1990s. Seven years later, he formed the industrial conglomerate Basic Element, one of the largest in Russia, which he continues to own.
Deripaska’s name came up in special counsel and former Trump campaign chairman Robert Mueller’s inquiry.
Manafort represented Deripaska on “business and personal matters in countries where he had stakes” and promoted his aluminum company, Rusal.
Deripaska denied any relation to Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.