October 1, 2022

Russian oligarch indicted for sanctions evasions

The US Department of Justice has unsealed an indictment charging three citizens of the Russian Federation and one US citizen with sanctions violations.  Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska, who was designated by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2018 in connection with his support of Russian aggression in the Crimea, and for his involvement in the Russian energy sector, has been charged with conspiring to violate US sanctions.  Along with Deripaska, Russian nationals Natalia Nikhahlovna Bardakova, Ekaterina Olegovna Voronina, and US citizen Olga Shriki were also charged.

According to the indictment, during a four-year period following imposition of the sanctions, Shriki and Bardakova continued to provide millions of dollars’ worth of services to Deripaska and a sanctioned entity owned by him, Basic Element Limited, within the United States.  The indictment alleges that the defendants continued to receive funds from entities controlled by Deripaska, conduct real estate transactions on Deripaska’s behalf, purchase gifts and other items for Deripaska and others favored by him, and facilitated the transport and medical care of Deripaska’s girlfriend, defendant Voronina, so that she could give birth on US soil.  Furthermore, Shriki is alleged to have destroyed evidence during the course of law enforcement investigation of the sanctions evasions, and Bardakova and Voronina are accused of making false statements to law enforcement in connection with the investigation.

Deripaska was designated pursuant to the Executive Orders 13660, 13661, and 13662 (the “Ukraine-Related Executive Orders”), and Executive Order 14065, which expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations.  The Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations treat persons whose property and interest in property is blocked as having an interest in all property and interests in property of entities in which the designated person owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, whether the entity is named on the Specially Designated Nationals list or not. 

The defendants are accused of conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, pursuant to which the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations were issued.  In addition, Shriki is charged with the destruction of records under Sections 1519 and 2 of Title 18, United States Code, and Bardakova and Voronina are accused of making false statements in violation of Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

DOJ press release | Indictment