FBI Monday launched simultaneous raids on stately D.C. mansion and a sprawling home in NY linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in connection with US sanctions
The billionaire Putin ally has been linked to former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele
Deripaska is an oil tycoon with close ties to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his government in general
His spokesperson said Deripaska doesn’t own either of the homes searched but raids are sanctions-related
The stately Washington, DC residence is reportedly worth around $15 million, while the ‘sprawling NY mansion’ is worth $42.5 million
Deripaska was implicated in a 2020 Senate report as having aided Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election cycle, working closely with Manafort
In April 2018 the US Treasury Dept accused Deripaska of ordering the murder of a fellow businessman, and blacklisted him as well as other Putin allies and businesses linked to the oligarch
However, a year later Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to Derispaska despite objections from Congressional Democrats
Sources revealed that Deripaska hasn’t been back to the US since at least 2017, and had no intention of returning
Homes linked to Russian oil tycoon Oleg Deripaska in New York and Washington were searched by the FBI on Monday, stemming from sanctions imposed on him in 2018.
Images of FBI agents surrounding the Washington DC residence connected to Deripaska, a close Putin ally who has been linked to Paul Manafort and Christopher Steele, were first reported by NBC late Monday morning.
The action was court-ordered, and FBI spokesperson told multiple outlets.
A source told DailyMail.com that Deripaska hasn’t been back to the US since at least 2017 and had no intention of returning after the Treasury Department hit him with sanctions, but those claims have not been verified.
Deripaska’s spokesman told Russian outlet Kommersant that searches were underway at his relatives’ homes in New York and Washington, while maintaining that Deripaska doesn’t own the homes. The searches are tied to US sanctions against business tycoon.
The activity is connected to a federal investigation based in New York, a spokesperson told CNN.
It’s not clear whether that would be the Southern District of New York, known for prosecuting some of the most high-profile cases in the country including an ongoing federal probe into Rudy Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine and an investigation into Donald Trump’s business affairs.
Properties linked to Deripaska in New York include a sprawling $42.5 million mansion in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. That home was among a number of assets that were frozen by the sanctions.
The New York property being raided on Monday is reportedly in Manhattan’s West Village.
Deripaska is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who’s been accused of helping the Kremlin conduct foreign influence operations.
A 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year also links Oleg Deripaska to former Trump 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort, as well as, ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
Deripaska and other members of Putin’s inner circle as well as 12 Russian businesses connected to them were blacklisted by the Treasury Department in 2018 over alleged international crimes
The next year however, Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to him despite objections from Congressional Democrats.
At the time, Trump’s Treasury Department claimed those companies ‘have reduced Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake in those companies and severed his control.’
The billionaire’s DC mansion, called the Haft Mansion, is reportedly worth $15 million.
That house is next door to the home of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway. George Conway was seen snapping pictures of Deripaska’s home while law enforcement were at the residence.
He told Politico there that he’s never seen Deripaska at home.
In August 2020 the bipartisan Senate report detailed allegations that Manafort collaborated with Deripaska during the 2016 presidential election amid Russia’s efforts to interfere in the race.
It claims Manafort worked with Deripaska to funnel internal Trump campaign information to the Russian intelligence community.
‘This is what collusion looks like,’ lawmakers wrote of Manafort’s ties to Russian actors.
The report said Deripaska ‘conducts influence operations, frequently in countries where he has a significant economic interest.’
‘The Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations,’ lawmakers alleged.
Documents also revealed that Deripaska gave Manafort a $10 million loan in 2005 to allegedly help sway US news coverage to portray Putin more favorably.
The same report links Deripaska to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier.
Lawmakers claimed that Deripaska ‘had early knowledge of Steele’s work’ only months before he started putting together the Dossier, which was commissioned as opposition research by Democrats including Hillary Clinton.
In 2016 Steele had dismissed claims that Deripaska was a ‘tool’ of the Russian government.
But investigators ‘found ample evidence to dispute Steele’s assessment,’ the report stated.
Deripaska was among a group of two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury in April 2018.
They were put in place to punish Russia for ‘malign activity around the globe.’
A statement announcing the economic penalties named a number of specific instances of Russian aggression, including its actions in Crimea and arming the Assad regime in Syria.
It also mentions Russia’s work to ‘subvert Western democracies’ but doesn’t detail any specific allegations about the US.
The Treasury accused Deripaska himself of ordering the murder of another businessman and ‘threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.’
It also claimed he had ties to organized crime.
When the Trump administration lifted sanctions against companies tied to him they left those against him specifically in place.
He sued to have those lifted in 2019 but in June of this year a judge threw out his lawsuit.
Reports from 2018 indicate that Deripaska was denied a visa to the US multiple times. However, recent NBC reports suggest the Kremlin gave him diplomatic status to allow him to enter the US with immunity.
It appears the tycoon’s web of high-power connections extends to the United Kingdom, courtesy of a former government official in ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.
George Osborne served as UK Chancellor and First Secretary of State under Cameron. Since leaving government he’s made a living as an investment banker.
A corporate advisory firm he joined in April was recruited to help Anglo-Russian metals company EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal negotiate with the world’s largest producer of nickel, the Financial Times reported.
EN+ and Rusal were two of the companies sanctioned and later un-sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury, having been controlled by Deripaska when the measures came down.