U.S. accuses Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg of bank fraud, money laundering as Spain seizes his $90 million yacht

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The Russian oligarch allegedly conspired with others to conceal his ownership interest in the Tango to avoid bank investigation into their U.S. dollar transactions, and to avoid transaction reporting requirements under federal law.

“Between 2011 and the present, Vekselberg engaged in a conspiracy to commit bank
fraud and money laundering by obfuscating his ownership interest in the TANGO and therefore causing false information regarding the same to be sent to U.S. banks processing U.S. dollar transactions for the TANGO. Vekselberg caused payments for the TANGO to be run through various shell companies in order to prevent U.S. financial institutions from accurately executing their KYC controls and in order to avoid the filing of SARs related to his financial transactions,” the seizure warrant alleged.

Additionally, the DOJ obtained seizure warrants that target around $625,000 associated with several sanctioned Russian nationals. The money is held at nine U.S. financial institutions.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “Today marks our taskforce’s first seizure of an asset belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime.” He added that the U.S. government and its international partners will do everything to hold every person accountable for helping the Russian government continue its unjust war against Ukraine.