Why the US Department of Justice threatens the Russian oligarch Deripaska with a long prison term

Why the US Department of Justice threatens the Russian oligarch Deripaska with a long prison term

Why the US Department of Justice threatens the Russian oligarch Deripaska with a long prison term
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6 October, 19:35
Business
Photo: Фото: moscow-post.su
Dollar billionaire Oleg Deripaska (50th on the Forbes list, worth $1.7 billion) faces a long prison sentence in the United States. America's leading media in recent days have tirelessly described the businessman's troubles because of his attempts to circumvent the sanctions imposed against him personally.

Yekaterina Maksimova

"One of the most powerful Russian oligarchs has been charged by the US Department of Justice with violating criminal sanctions", - writes The Guardian.

The publication reminds that the founder of the Basic Element company, the former head of Rusal Deripaska, was first subjected to US sanctions in 2018 and since then "evaded them in various ways, using corporate shell companies to hide his activities".

So, in the US, a Russian businessman is accused of trying to transfer $3 million to a Russian account - the proceeds from the sale of an American music studio. However , the most difficult case concerns Deripaska's alleged girlfriend, Yekaterina Voronina, 33, who was charged with making false statements to US agents during one of her attempts to enter the US.

The Guardian describes the plot of the criminal case as follows:

- Deripaska and his associates first arranged for Voronina to travel to the US in 2020 with the goal of having a baby in the US. The Justice Department said Deripaska spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting Voronina to use the US healthcare system because he did not trust the Russian hospital system, and at one point instructed her to be "cautious" when discussing her plans with US agents. After the birth of their child, who is American, Deripaska's associates conspired to try to hide Deripaska's identity as the child's father by partially changing the spelling of the child's last name.

Another publication, JDSUPRA, adds that citizen Voronina tried to enter the United States in 2022 to give birth to her second child in the states. Why did Voronina and Deripaska's assistant, Natalya Bardakova, "make false statements to hide Deripaska's funding and connection with Voronina", but their attempt was thwarted. Voronina was denied entry and immediately returned to Istanbul from the United States.

The Guardian recalls that Deripaska " has long been considered Vladimir Putin's favorite industrialist".

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the indictment following Russia's "unjust and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine" demonstrated the U.S. commitment to holding accountable those who evade U.S. sanctions and "help the Russian regime." The Justice Department said Deripaska, 55, and three other accomplices, including one US citizen, used lies and deceit to cash in on and profit from the American way of life .

Charges brought in the United States against a businessman and his assistants carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Recall that Oleg Deripaska fell under sanctions due to the annexation of Crimea to Russia - on April 6, 2018, he was included in the SDN list. The businessman tried to challenge America's decision and appealed to the US Supreme Court. Deripaska's main argument was the assertion that OFAC exceeded its authority by imposing restrictions that were not related to the state of emergency in the country. On October 4 this year, the court rejected the appeal of the billionaire from Russia.

Recall that oligarch Roman Abramovich was previously removed from US sanctions. President of Ukraine Zelensky personally asked President of America D. Biden about this, Kommersant reported in March 2022.

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