- The Department of Justice has decided to seize six luxury properties owned by a sanctioned oligarch.
- Viktor Vekselberg’s homes in New York, the Hamptons and Florida are worth $75 million.
- Vekselberg purchased the homes through shell companies in Panama and the Bahamas, prosecutors say.
The Justice Department said it had decided to seize six properties in New York, the Hamptons and Florida worth $75 million belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.
On Friday, on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the DOJ KleptoCapture Task Force Announcement his intention to seize luxury properties owned by Vekselberg, including one on Park Avenue in New York, alleging they were subject to sanctions evasion and money laundering.
Court documents show Vekselberg purchased the properties using two shell companies based in Panama and the Bahamas. Vekselberg, who was first sanctioned by the United States in 2018 for annexing Crimea, was not allowed to do business with American citizens without a special license.
The documents say he was aided by his associate and fugitive Vladimir Voronchenko, who funneled at least $4 million to the United States to maintain the properties. Prosecutors say Vekselberg attempted to sell two properties without notifying the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Voronchenko told a lawyer how to use the funds Vekserlberg transferred to a trust account that prosecutors say was worth around $18.5 million between 2009 and 2019.
KleptoCapture director Andrew Adams said in a press release, “Straw men, corrupt professionals and shell companies may be hallmarks of money laundering and sanctions evasion, but this are obstacles that diligent and dedicated investigators and prosecutors will overcome.”
He added that the filing was another step the DOJ and its partners “have taken to dislodge the ill-gotten gains of those who would try to evade U.S. sanctions and to make the value of these properties available for government aid.” ‘Ukraine”.
The property to be seized is located at 19 Duck Pond Lane, Southampton, New York; units 21 and 22, 515 Park Avenue, New York; and three units on Fisher Island Drive, Miami Beach, Florida.
Vekselberg, worth more than $7 billion according to Bloomberghad his superyacht and a private jet seized in March 2022 as part of efforts by the United States and its allies to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his war with Ukraine.
During this time, the The United States has introduced new sanctions Friday, targeting more than 100 entities both in Russia and around the world, including banks and defense contractors.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside of normal working hours.