March 4, 2022

US launches Task Force KleptoCapture

On March 2, 2022, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the launch of Task Force KleptoCapture dedicated to the enforcement of sanctions, export restrictions and economic countermeasures imposed by the US and its allies and partners in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. It’s an interagency law enforcement task force that will be made up of agents and analysts from several agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; US Marshals Service, US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, the IRS-Criminal Investigation; and the US Postal Inspection Service.  The Task Force will be run out of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and leverage all Justice Department resources to ensure the effective enforcement of all international measures designed to isolate Russia from the global market and hold accountable Russian officials, Russian oligarchs, and those who support or conceal their unlawful conduct. 

The Task Force will be led by a veteran prosecutor from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with a proven track record of investigating Russian organized crime and recovering unlawful assets.  The Task Force’s mission is to investigate and prosecute violations of US sanctions issued in response to the Ukraine invasion; combat any attempt to undermine restrictions against Russian financial institutions; target efforts to use cryptocurrency to evade US sanctions or launder the proceeds of foreign corruption; and seize the assets of sanctioned individuals or items identified as the proceeds of unlawful conduct in accordance with civil and criminal asset forfeiture laws.

Task Force KleptoCapture also complements the transatlantic task force announced on February 26, 2022 by President Biden and the leaders of the European Commission, France ,Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Canada, for the purpose of identifying and seizing the assets of sanctioned individuals and entities around the world.

DOJ Press Release