On March 3, 2022, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment revealing that Jack Hanick, a US citizen who once worked as a cable television producer in New York, had been charged for violating US sanctions and knowingly making false statements in connection with his work for sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev. The Department of Justice reports that this is the first-ever criminal indictment for US sanctions violations connected to Russian efforts in 2014 to undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine.
According to court documents, the President of the United States issued Executive Order 13660 in 2014 to declare a national emergency with respect to the situation in Ukraine and block all property and interest in property in the US with respect to persons who were determined to be engaged in policies that threaten the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Ukraine. EO 13660 and other related regulations such as Ukraine-Related Sanction Regulations also prohibited, among other things, the making or receiving of funds, goods or services for the benefit of a blocked person. The DOJ reports that Malofeyev was designated pursuant to EO 13660 on December 19, 2014 for being one of the main financiers promoting separatism in Crimea and providing material support to the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist organization in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
According to the criminal indictment, Hanick moved to Russia in or around July 2013 to work directly for Malofeyev on a project to start up an Russian television network and continued to work for him until approximately 2017, even after Malofeyev’s 2014 designation. Hanick, who allegedly had a leadership role at the Russian network, also worked for Malofeyev on projects to establish and run a Greek television network and assisted in efforts to acquire a Bulgarian television network – an acquisition during which Hanick allegedly tried to conceal Malofeyev’s role.
According to the DOJ, Hanick is currently awaiting extradition after being provisionally arrested in London on February 3, 2022 pursuant to a request by the US. He has been charged by federal prosecutors with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and making false statements about his work for Malofeyev when he was questioned by the FBI in February of 2021.