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US Charges Russian Oligarch with Sanctions Evasion

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, to discuss new and recent enforcement actions to disrupt and prosecute criminal Russian activity.

The United States announced Wednesday that it is charging Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with sanctions violations.

In a Justice Department press release, Malofeyev is accused of trying to evade sanctions by buying media companies in Europe.

"After being sanctioned by the United States, Malofeyev attempted to evade the sanctions by using co-conspirators to surreptitiously acquire and run media outlets across Europe," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in remarks Wednesday morning.

The Justice Department also said they’d seized millions of dollars linked to sanctions evasion.

The move comes under the Justice Department’s new KleptoCapture task force, which is expected to go after more assets held by Russian oligarchs.

“Konstantin Malofeyev is closely tied to Russian aggression in Ukraine, having been determined by OFAC to have been one of the main sources of financing for the promotion of Russia-aligned separatist groups operating in the sovereign nation of Ukraine,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York in a press release.

Earlier this week, U.S. and Spanish authorities seized a yacht belonging to another oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg.

Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.