Deripaska property manager arrested in UK for financing US properties for Deripaska’s benefit »FINCHANNEL

A British national was arrested today for conspiring to violate US sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska and for wire fraud in connection with the financing of US properties purchased by Deripaska and efforts to expatriate the works Deripaska’s art in the United States through misrepresentation. The US government will seek his extradition to the United States. Deripaska has already been charged with violations of US sanctions in an indictment made public on September 29.

In 2014, the President issued Executive Order 13660, which declared a national emergency regarding the situation in Ukraine. To address this national emergency, the President blocked all assets of individuals determined by the United States Treasury Department to be responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threatened national security, sovereignty, or territorial integrity. of Ukraine, or who materially assist, sponsor or provide support to persons or entities engaged in such activities. Executive Order 13660 and the regulations issued under it prohibit the making or receiving of funds, goods, or services by, to, from, or for the benefit of any person designated by the U.S. Treasury.

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Deripaska as a Specially Designated National (SDN), as part of its finding that the actions of the government of the Russian Federation towards of Ukraine is an unusual situation. and an extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States (OFAC sanctions). According to the US Treasury, Deripaska was sanctioned for acting or purporting to act on behalf, directly or indirectly, of a senior official of the government of the Russian Federation and for operating in the energy sector of the economy of the Russian Federation. Russia.

According to court documents, Graham Bonham-Carter, 62, of the United Kingdom, worked for entities controlled by Deripaska from July 2003 until today. Among other things, Bonham-Carter managed Deripaska’s residential properties in the UK and Europe, including a house in Belgravia Square, London. Even after OFAC named Deripaska, Bonham-Carter continued to work for Deripaska and refers to Deripaska as his “boss”. For example, in an email dated June 18, 2018, or around that date, Bonham-Carter wrote, “Times are a bit tough for my boss as sanctions hit him from the United States, so this n is not the ideal time.” In an email dated on or about October 13, 2021, Bonham-Carter wrote, “It[’]Everything is fine, except that the banks keep closing me because of my affiliation with my boss Oleg Deripaska…. I was even advised not to go to the United States where Oleg still has personal sanctions because the authorities will undoubtedly put me away and the interrogation could last for hours or even days!!

As alleged in the indictment, after Deripaska’s designation, Bonham-Carter engaged in more than $1 million in illicit dealings to fund real estate properties in the United States for Deripaska’s benefit. Between or around 2005 and or around 2008, Deripaska purchased three residential properties in the United States, two in New York City and one in Washington, DC (the US Properties). The properties were managed by a company named Gracetown Inc. After OFAC imposed sanctions on Deripaska on or about April 6, 2018, Gracetown Inc. continued to manage the properties for the benefit of Deripaska. Shortly after Deripaska’s designation, Deripaska commissioned Bonham-Carter to form a new company to manage Deripaska’s properties. On or about May 25, 2018, Bonham-Carter wrote in an email that “OVD [i.e., Deripaska] wants me to start my own business to run the [Belgravia Square] home and possibly include Japan, Italy, China and more. Less than two months later, on or about July 17, 2018, Bonham-Carter incorporated GBCM Limited.

Between March 2021 or thereabouts and December 2021 or thereabouts, while employed by Deripaska, Bonham-Carter transmitted payments for the upkeep of US properties. Bonham-Carter wired payments totaling $1,043,964.30 from a bank account in Russia held in the name of GBCM Limited, to bank accounts held by Gracetown Inc. in New York. Gracetown Inc. used funds from GBCM Limited to pay for various expenses associated with US Properties, including staff salaries, property taxes and other services, and to maintain and maintain US Properties.

As alleged, Bonham-Carter also attempted to illegally transfer artwork purchased by Deripaska from a New York auction house to London through false statements concealing ownership of the artwork by Deripaska. In May 2021, when informed by the auction house that it had reason to believe the artwork belonged to Deripaska, Bonham-Carter falsely stated that the artwork and a payment of $12,146 that Bonham-Carter had made to ship the work do not belong to Déripaska. In fact, as Bonham-Carter knew, Deripaska had purchased the artwork, it remained her property, and the funds used to pay for shipping would be billed to Deripaska.

Bonham-Carter is charged in a three-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA ), one count of IEEPA violation and one count of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

KleptoCapture Task Force Director Andrew C. Adams, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York, and Deputy Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division made the announcement.

The FBI’s New York Field Office and Counterintelligence Division are investigating the case, with valuable assistance from the Counterintelligence and Export Controls Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. and the International Affairs Office of the Department of Justice. The UK’s National Crime Agency provided substantial assistance.

The investigation was coordinated by the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture Task Force, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to the enforcement of sweeping sanctions, export controls and countermeasures. economic measures that the United States, along with its foreign allies and partners, imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked attacks. military invasion of Ukraine. Announced by the Attorney General on March 2 and led by the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the task force will continue to leverage all departmental tools and authorities to combat efforts to evade or undermine class action taken. by the US government in response to Russian military aggression.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anden Chow and Vladislav Vainberg for the Southern District of New York are prosecuting the case.

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