A Russian billionaire oligarch with Kremlin ties was federally charged with violating American sanctions along with three others who worked to ensure his child was born in the United States, the Justice Department said.
Oleg Deripaska, 52, has been the subject of U.S. sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department since 2018. He was accused of acting for or on behalf of a senior Russian official and had operated in the energy sector of the Russian economy.
Deripaska was the owner and controller of Basic Element Limited, a private investment and management company used to advance his various business interests.
“As today’s charges reveal, while serving the Russian state and energy sector, Oleg Deripaska sought to circumvent U.S. sanctions through lies and deceit to cash in on and benefit from the American way of life,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement.
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Federal prosecutors said he conspired with others to evade the sanctions over several years and illegally used the American financial system to retain three luxury properties.
Olga Shriki, 42, a New Jersey resident is the only one of the four in police custody. She is charged with trying to help Ekaterina Olegovna Voronina, who is also charged, with getting into the U.S. to give birth to Deripaska’s child.
Authorities said Deripaska spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it possible for his child to be born in the United States, so the child could take advantage of the U.S. health care system and benefits of a U.S. birthright. The child, upon birth, received U.S. citizenship.
In an effort to conceal the name of the child’s father, the three co-defendants slightly misspelled the child’s last name, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.
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Authorities are demanding Deripaska and his co-defendants forfeit assets in the United States – including a Washington, D.C., property and two Manhattan properties.
The Biden administration has stepped up efforts to sanction Russian billionaires and other supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin following Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.