The United States has charged a UK businessman with conspiracy to violate sanctions, sanctions violations, and wire fraud. The indictment, issued on September 21, 2022 and unsealed on October 11 with the defendant’s arrest in the United Kingdom, charges Graham Bonham-Carter with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA, and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Bonham-Carter has managed real estate properties for Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska since 2003. In 2018, Deripaska was designated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Orders 13661 and 13662 for contributing to the situation in Ukraine, identified as a national emergency in Executive Order 13660, for acting on behalf of a senior Russian Federation official, and for operating in the Russian energy sector. The indictment indicates that since imposition of the sanctions, and despite cognizance of their ramifications, Bonham-Carter has continued to manage Deripaska’s properties, including a house in Belgravia Square, London, and properties in Washington D.C. and New York City. Bonham-Carter’s management of these properties, through third party companies, involves the receipt and transmission of funds, the payment of staff salaries, taxes and maintenance costs, and incidental activities. As further recited in the indictment, Bonham-Carter has handled the auction and transport – including though the United States — of artwork owned by Deripaska since imposition of the sanctions. In response to the Auction House’s concerns regarding ownership by Deripaska and consequent blocking of the artwork and associated payments, Bonham-Carter stated that neither the funds nor the underlying assets belong to Deripaska.
The United States plans to seek the extradition of Mr. Bonham-Carter from the United Kingdom. Oleg Deripaska was indicted in the United States on September 28, 2022, for violating US sanctions, after his attempt to challenge the sanctions was defeated.