Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska speaks to media in front of the office of Gorkovsky Automobile Plant (GAZ) in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia April 16, 2019.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
The FBI is searching two properties linked to a Russian billionaire with ties to President Vladimir Putin, a spokesperson for the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, told NBC News on Tuesday.
The raids of two houses, located in Washington, D.C., and New York, “are being carried out on the basis of two court orders, connected to US sanctions,” the spokesperson told NBC.
An FBI spokeswoman earlier confirmed to CNBC that agents are conducting “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at the Washington home.
The search warrants in Washington are the result of a federal investigation stemming from New York City, two officials briefed on the matter told NBC, which first reported earlier Tuesday that Deripaska’s home was being raided by the FBI.
But Deripaska’s spokesperson said the houses do not belong to him, since he is not technically allowed to own property in the U.S. due to sanctions against him. The houses belong to Deripaska’s relatives, the spokesperson said.
An FBI agent stands watch as the U.S. law enforcement agency conducted a raid at Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s home in Washington, October 19, 2021.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, designated Deripaska “for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation,” among other allegations. In a press release, OFAC noted that Deripaska has been investigated for money laundering, threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.
Deripaska sued over the sanctions, but a U.S. judge in June dismissed his lawsuit.
Deripaska became widely known in the U.S. for his ties to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was convicted on fraud charges stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Then-President Donald Trump pardoned Manafort in his final month in office.
Manafort and Deripaska had numerous business dealings. Manafort was indebted to Deripaska, court filings have alleged, and reportedly tried to leverage his role on Trump’s campaign to resolve his debts with the Russian billionaire.
The FBI and the D.C. police did not immediately respond to requests for additional information regarding Tuesday’s raid. A lawyer for Deripaska did not immediately provide comment.
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