U.S. charges rUSsian billionaire with violating sanctions

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U.S. charges rUSsian billionaire with violating sanctions

WASHINGTON D.C. U.S. prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska for violating sanctions imposed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Three women, Ekaterina Voronina, Natalia Bardakova and Olga Shriki, were also charged in the indictment against Deripaska.

The 54-year-old founder of aluminum giant Rusal, Deripaska, was one of the Russian oligarchs and government officials blacklisted by Washington in 2018 for Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Deripaska used the US financial system to maintain three luxury properties and employed a woman to buy a California music studio on his behalf.

Prosecutors said that Deripaska also violated sanctions by having his girlfriend travel to the US from Russia to give birth to his children.

In the wake of Russia's unjust and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, I promised the American people that the Justice Department would work to hold accountable those who break our laws and threaten our national security. The charges show that we are keeping that promise, said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, in a statement.

Through his stake in its parent company, En Group, Deripaska still owns part of Rusal. Both companies were previously sanctioned by Washington, but are no longer on the list.

In 2019 a $3.1 million sale of a Burbank, California music studio was ordered by Shriki, according to the indictment.

The indictment also revealed Voronina's attempts to rent a home in Beverly Hills, California.

Deripaska, Shriki and Bardakova were charged with violating sanctions.

Bardakova and Voronina were charged with making false statements to U.S. investigators, while Shriki was charged with destroying evidence.