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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

U.S. Turns To New Ways To Punish Russian Oligarchs Backing Putin

The US has begun an aggressive new push to inflict pain on Russia’s economy and specifically its oligarchs with the intent of thwarting the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Photo Insert: Andrew Adams heads the US government’s KleptoCapture task force, which is designed to enforce the economic restrictions within the US imposed on Russia and its billionaires.

From the Treasury Department to the Justice Department, US officials will focus on efforts to legally liquidate the property of Russian oligarchs, expand financial penalties on those who facilitate the evasion of sanctions, and close loopholes in the law that allow oligarchs to use shell companies to move through the US financial system.

Andrew Adams, who heads the US government’s KleptoCapture task force, designed to enforce the economic restrictions within the US imposed on Russia and its billionaires, told Fatima Hussein of the Associated Press (AP), that the group is prioritizing its efforts to identify those who help Russians evade sanctions and violate export controls.

“These illicit procurement networks will continue to take up an ever-increasing amount of our bandwidth,” said Adams, who also serves as acting deputy assistant attorney general.

So far, more than $58 billion worth of sanctioned Russians’ assets have been blocked or frozen worldwide, according to a report last week from the Treasury Department.

That includes two luxury yachts each worth $300 million in San Diego and Fiji, and six New York and Florida properties worth $75 million owned by sanctioned oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The US has begun attempts to punish the associates and wealth managers of oligarchs — in Vekselberg’s case, a federal court in New York indicted Vladimir Voronchenko after he helped maintain Vekselberg’s properties. He was charged in February with conspiring to violate and evade US sanctions. The case was coordinated through the KleptoCapture group.

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