US prosecutors have charged Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska with circumventing sanctions imposed on him in 2018. If the court finds the businessman guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison, informs US Department of Justice
According to the indictment, Deripaska violated the sanctions by hiring assistants who organized various services on his behalf. At the same time, he used the dummy name Oleg Mukhamedshin. It is noteworthy that a person with that name and surname holds a senior position in Rusal.
The prosecutor’s office indicatesthe businessman’s accomplices: Olga Shriki, a former employee of the investment company Basic Element, and Natalya Bardakova, who live in New Jersey. The former helped Deripaska sell a California music studio for $3.1 million in 2019, which he owned through a series of shell companies. Natalya Bardakova gave Shriki various instructions, for example, from May 2018 to 2020 she asked to buy an iPhone, as well as send flowers and gifts to the businessman’s acquaintances in the USA and Canada.
In addition, Shriki and Bardakova helped Ekaterina Voronina (“aka Ekaterina Lobanova”), whom investigators call the mother of two children. Deripaska. In 2020, the assistants arranged for Voronina to be sent to the United States — she flew there on a private jet to give birth to her first child, court documents say. More than $300,000 was spent on childbirth. All expenses were paid by Deripaska, which is also a violation of the sanctions. The father’s name is not indicated on the birth certificate, but the child received the patronymic Olegovich and a similar surname “with a couple of changed letters” (“Deribasko”).
In 2022, Voronina attempted to re-enter the US to give birth to another child, but she was not allowed in after interrogation. At the same time, she gave false testimony to officers of the US Department of Homeland Security in order to hide her connection with the billionaire.
Deripaska, Bardakova and Shriki are accused of conspiring to circumvent sanctions. Shriki was also charged with destroying records, and Bardakova and Voronina were charged with perjury. The billionaire faces up to 20 years in prison if he falls into the hands of US authorities. Washington has agreements on the extradition of the accused with many countries of the world. Russia does not extradite its citizens.
Deripaska was sanctioned under President Donald Trump for alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election. The businessman tried to challenge the restrictions in court. In the lawsuit, he called himself a victim of the political struggle in the United States and estimated the damage suffered at $ 7.5 billion. At that time, this amounted to more than 80% of his fortune.