Homes linked to Russian oil tycoon Oleg Deripaska in New York and Washington were searched by the FBI on Monday, stemming from sanctions imposed on him in 2018.
Images of FBI agents surrounding the Washington, DC residence connected to Deripaska, a close Putin ally who has been linked to Paul Manafort and Christopher Steele, were first reported by NBC late Monday morning.
The action was court-ordered, and FBI spokesperson told multiple outlets.
A source told DailyMail.com that Deripaska hasn’t been back to the US since at least 2017 and had no intention of returning after the Treasury Department hit him with sanctions, but those claims have not been verified.
Deripaska’s spokesman told Russian outlet Kommersant that searches were underway at his relatives’ homes in New York and Washington. They said Deripaska doesn’t own the homes but the searches are tied to US sanctions against him.
The activity is connected to a federal investigation based in New York, a spokesperson told CNN.
It’s not clear whether that would be the Southern District of New York, known for prosecuting some of the most high-profile cases in the country including an ongoing federal probe into Rudy Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine and an investigation into Donald Trump’s business affairs.
A spokesman for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.
FBI agents outside of Deripaska’s Washington, DC home on Monday morning
The FBI has not given a reason for the activity but told multiple outlets that it was court-ordered
Deripaska (left) is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of aiding the Kremlin in foreign influence operations
Properties linked to Deripaska in New York include a sprawling $42.5 million mansion in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. That home was among a number of assets that were frozen by the sanctions.
He was able to allow the children and ex-wife of his business partner, the oligarch Roman Abramovich, to live there, the New York Post reported in 2018.
The New York property being raided on Monday is reportedly in Manhattan’s West Village.
Deripaska is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who’s been accused of helping the Kremlin conduct foreign influence operations.
A 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year also links him to former Trump 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
Deripaska and other members of Putin’s inner circle as well as 12 Russian businesses connected to them were blacklisted by the Treasury Department in 2018 over alleged international crimes
The next year however, Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to him despite objections from Congressional Democrats.
At the time Trump’s Treasury Department claimed those companies ‘have reduced Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake in those companies and severed his control.’
A spokesperson for Deripaska told a Russian outlet that homes of his relatives in Washington and New York are being raided
The raids are reportedly connected to US sanctions against Deripaska, which were levied in 2018
A source told DailyMail.com that Deripaska hasn’t been back to the US since at least 2017 and had no intention of returning
The billionaire’s DC mansion, called the Haft Mansion, is reportedly worth $15 million, according to the Daily Beast.
In August 2020 the bipartisan Senate report detailed allegations that Manafort collaborated with Deripaska during the 2016 presidential election amid Russia’s efforts to interfere in the race.
It claims Manafort worked with Deripaska to funnel internal Trump campaign information to the Russian intelligence community.
‘This is what collusion looks like,’ lawmakers wrote of Manafort’s ties to Russian actors.
The report said Deripaska ‘conducts influence operations, frequently in countries where he has a significant economic interest.’
‘The Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations,’ lawmakers alleged.
Documents also revealed that Deripaska gave Manafort a $10 million loan in 2005 to allegedly help sway US news coverage to portray Putin more favorably.
The same report links Deripaska to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who infamously authored the Trump dossier.
The nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released in August 2020 links Deripaska to onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort
Trump’s Treasury Department levied sanctions against Deripaska in 2018 and accused him of being tied to organized crime (pictured: Trump getting in an SUV in Manhattan on Monday)
Lawmakers claimed that Deripaska ‘had early knowledge of Steele’s work’ only months before he started putting together the Dossier, which was commissioned as opposition research by Democrats including Hillary Clinton.
In 2016 Steele had dismissed claims that Deripaska was a ‘tool’ of the Russian government.
But investigators ‘found ample evidence to dispute Steele’s assessment,’ the report stated.
Deripaska was among a group of two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury in April 2018.
They were put in place to punish Russia for ‘malign activity around the globe.’ A statement announcing the economic penalties named a number of specific instances of Russian aggression, including its actions in Crimea and arming the Assad regime in Syria.
It also mentions Russia’s work to ‘subvert Western democracies’ but doesn’t detail any specific allegations about the US.
Deripaska’s multi-million dollar mansion is located in DC’s wealthy Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood
The Treasury accused Deripaska himself of ordering the murder of another businessman and ‘threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.’
It also claimed he had ties to organized crime.
When the Trump administration lifted sanctions against companies tied to him they left those against him specifically in place.
He sued to have those lifted in 2019 but in June of this year a judge threw out his lawsuit.
Reports from 2018 indicate that Deripaska was denied a visa to the US multiple times.
But recently, NBC reports, the Kremlin gave him diplomatic status to allow him to enter the US with immunity.
DailyMail.com has reached out to one of Deripaska’s US-based attorneys for comment.
It appears the tycoon’s web of high-power connections extends to the United Kingdom, by way of a former government official in ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.
George Osborne served as UK Chancellor and First Secretary of State under Cameron. Since leaving government he’s made a living as an investment banker.
A corporate advisory firm he joined in April was recruited to help Anglo-Russian metals company EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal negotiate with the world’s largest producer of nickel, the Financial Times reported.
EN+ and Rusal were two of the companies sanctioned and later un-sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury, having been controlled by Deripaska when the measures came down.
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