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Sunday, April 2, 2023

The court decided to confiscate 5.4 million dollars from the oligarch Malofeev for violating the sanctions regime


A US court on Thursday decided to confiscate $5.4 million belonging to sanctioned Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeev.

District Court Judge Paul Gardef’s ruling in Manhattan federal court was the first forfeiture of a Russian oligarch’s assets since the Justice Department created the multi-agency KleptoCapture task force in 2022 to enforce the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The court ruling paves the way for the possible use of confiscated funds to rebuild war-ravaged Ukraine.

Recall that President Joe Biden signed a law at the end of 2022 allowing the Ministry of Justice to transfer part of the confiscated assets to the State Department to come to the aid of Ukraine. US law limits the government’s ability to use confiscated assets.

Malofeev, the owner of Tsargrad TV, has been accused by US authorities of funding separatists in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Malofeev, who denies funding the separatists, was sanctioned by Washington in 2014 and charged with sanctions violations in 2022.

Andrew Adams, head of the Justice Department’s task force, said last month that the first confiscated funds could soon be transferred to Ukraine.

“These amounts pale in comparison to the catastrophic damage Russia has caused to the Ukrainian people and land, but the contribution is very significant,” Adams said, speaking at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

Late last year, prosecutors said in court papers they were entitled to confiscate money from Malofeev’s Sunflower Bank account in Denver because he tried to transfer it to a partner. trading in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Because Malofeev did not contest the forfeiture request, prosecutors said Thursday the funds should be forfeited by default.

Earlier, the KleptoCapture group temporarily seized the assets of other oligarchs, including a $300 million yacht, but has yet to receive a final seizure order.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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