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According to US court filings, federal prosecutors in New York moved to seize more than $5.3 million from a US bank account belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev.
We recently singled out Malofeyev in a new round of penalties aimed at Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine conflict. On April 20, the United States announced penalties against a major commercial bank as well as “a global network of over 40 individuals and businesses managed by US-designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev.”
The US Treasury Department announced at the time that it was targeting “businesses involved in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, which is purportedly the world’s third-largest,” noting that it was the first time it had “identified a virtual currency mining corporation.”
According to a Treasury release from the time, Malofeyev was sanctioned in December 2014 for funding “separatist activities in eastern Ukraine.” For his ties to “Aleksandr Borodai, Igor Girkin (a.k.a. Igot Strelkov), and the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, all of whom have previously been sanctioned as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs).”
In April, the US Department of Justice indicted Malofeyev for attempting to evade sanctions for the first time since Russia’s war in Ukraine began.
On April 20, Malofeyev was sanctioned once more by the US for “acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Russian government.” In addition, members of Malofeyev’s “huge global network of cut-outs and proxies to try to circumvent sanctions and conduct malicious influence activities,” including those engaging in pro-Kremlin propaganda, were also sanctioned by the Treasury Department.
Russia, Moldova, Singapore, and a number of Russians, including Malofeyev’s son, were among those sanctioned.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States and other Western countries have levied unprecedented sanctions. Putin maintains the invasion is a “special military operation” aimed at disarming and de-radicalizing Ukraine. Putin’s allegation, according to Ukraine and its supporters, is an obvious justification for an aggressive attack.
The US has increased sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with key Russian government figures and corporate elites who have close ties to President Vladimir Putin among the targets.
An oligarch who owns a major steel firm, a yacht management company, the country’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, and a cellist who the US Treasury says acts as a conduit for Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those named.