FBI Raids Homes of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska

Oleg Deripaska in London in 2018. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Early on Tuesday morning, FBI agents raided a three-story townhouse in Greenwich Village and a mansion in northwest Washington, D.C. linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close contact of pardoned Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

According to the New York Times, the raids are part of an inquiry into potential violations of sanctions imposed on the billionaire by the Treasury Department in 2018 for his aluminum company’s profit from the “malign activities” of the Russian state. In the announcement of the sanctions that April, Treasury noted that he had been accused of money laundering and “threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.” While the FBI and Southern District of New York prosecutors did not go into detail regarding the investigation or the raid, a spokeswoman for Deripaska told the paper that the “searches are being carried out on the basis of two court orders, connected to U.S. sanctions.” According to the spokeswoman, the homes are owned by relatives of Deripaska, the energy magnate who was the richest person in Russia for years prior to the 2008 financial crisis. In the past, Deripaska has also been denied a visa to enter the United States for his alleged connections to organize crime in Moscow.

Deripaska was frequently mentioned in the early days of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, as Manafort allegedly tried to leverage his stature in the Republican nominee’s camp to resolve the debts he owed the aluminum tycoon with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Manafort also reportedly told another sanctioned contact to share polling data with Deripaska and to offer him “private briefings” on the campaign.

In the wake of the raid in Washington’s Embassy Row, NBC News reported that neighbor George Conway went over to take a picture of the commotion; he claimed he never saw Deripaska there.

FBI Raids Homes of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska