Former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New York Counterintelligence Division Charged with Violating U.S. Sanctions on Russia (DOJ) Those involved. Charles McGonigal, former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New York Counterintelligence Division; Sergey Shestakov, former Soviet and Russian diplomat. Charges with penalties. Conspiracy to Violate International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); Violating IEEPA; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Money Laundering; (maximum of 20 years in prison for both McGonigal and Shestakov). An additional charge of making a false statement against Shestakov (maximum five years in prison). What happened? McGonigal and Shestakov were indicted for violating U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions by providing prohibited services to Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian oligarch. As part of his effort to be delisted as a sanctioned person by OFAC, Deripaska hired a law firm that in turn hired McGonigal, for $25,000 in compensation, as an investigator. Deripaska then directly retained McGonigal and Shestakov to investigate a rival Russian oligarch. McGonigal and Shestakov used shell companies and forged signatures to conceal the payments.
The press release can be found here. The indictment can be found here.
Notably. This is not the first enforcement action taken against an individual providing Deripaska with services prohibited by sanctions programs. As summarized in our October enforcement roundup, U.K. businessman Graham Bonham-Carter was previously indicted for illicit U.S. real estate transactions for Deripaska’s benefit. Deripaska – and those with whom he engages – appear to be clear targets of U.S. sanctions enforcement officials.
British National and Russian Businessman Arrested for Facilitating Sanctions Evasion (DOJ Action)
Those involved. Vladislav Osipov, a Russian National; Richard Masters, a British National.
Charges with penalties. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Commit Offenses Against the United States; International Emergency Economic Powers Act Violations; Money Laundering (maximum of 20 years in prison). What happened? Osipov and Masters were separately indicted for helping a sanctioned Russian oligarch evade sanctions. In April 2018, Viktor Vekselberg was designated by OFAC. Despite the sanctions, Masters and Osipov continued to operate Vekselberg’s 255-foot mega yacht, Motor Yacht Tango (Tango). Masters, the owner of the company managing Tango, and Osipov, an employee of Vekselberg and functionally Tango’s property manager, conspired to circumvent U.S. sanctions. Among other things, the two men falsified the name of the yacht to deceive U.S. financial institutions into processing payments and used different currencies to garner hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegally-obtained U.S. services – processed by U.S. financial institutions – for the benefit of the designated oligarch. Masters has been arrested in Spain for extradition to the United States, and there is an outstanding warrant for Osipov’s arrest. The press release can be found here. Osipov’s indictment can be found here. Masters’ indictment can be found here. Notably. There was much fanfare following the initial freezing of yachts owned by prominent Russian oligarchs. That was only the beginning, however, as the FBI continues to monitor the companies and individuals providing services to seized property and pushes for arrests and extraditions when warranted.
2 International Trade Enforcement Roundup |
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