A Russian national was indicted for helping an oligarch evade US sanctions by financing multimillion dollar properties in Manhattan, the Hamptons and Florida — the latest sign that prosecutors continue to put pressure on wealthy businessmen with ties to the Kremlin.
Vladimir Voronchenko, an art dealer and childhood friend of sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, was charged with violating US sanctions, international money laundering, conspiracy, and contempt of court for not complying with a grand jury subpoena. Voronchenko left the US in May after receiving the subpoena for his testimony and remains at large.
Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $75 million worth of Vekselberg’s properties, including two Park Avenue apartments, his home in Southampton, New York, and two apartments, including a penthouse, on Fisher Island, Florida.
The criminal charges come as prosecutors have taken numerous steps that appear to be encircling Vekselberg, the founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Renova Group, a Russian aluminum and energy conglomerate. Vekselberg was sanctioned in 2018 by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in response to what it called “worldwide malign activity.”
Vekselberg has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
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