March 28, 2024

OFAC designates individuals and entities for offering or developing virtual asset services for Russia

On March 25, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 13 entities and 2 individuals for operating in the financial services and technology sectors, and for supporting Russia’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions.  According to OFAC, many of the designees have played a role in developing blockchain-based services for the Russian financial sector, or have offered virtual asset services to process unlawful transactions for Russian entities.  OFAC designated 5 additional entities that are owned or controlled by Joint Stock Company Echelon Union for Science and Technology, which was designated by OFAC in September 2023.  OFAC emphasized that the new sanctions build upon OFAC designations imposed on February 23, 2024 that target more than 300 individuals and entities for servicing Russia’s core financial infrastructure and supporting efforts to evade sanctions.

The designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14024 for operating in the financial services sector or the technology sector of the Russian economy or for being owned or controlled by an OFAC-designated entity.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release