A Diego Rivera Painting Was Among the Assets FBI Agents Seized From Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska
The new 'KleptoCapture' task force is ramping up the pressure on Russian oligarchs.
New details have emerged about the art and assets seized from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in an FBI raid last fall.
Unidentified sources told Bloomberg that the property included a painting by Diego Rivera, a pair of Prada shoes, and a baseball. Deripaska, who is believed to be evading U.S. sanctions, is said to be a target of a special inter-agency task force dubbed “KleptoCapture.”
The Justice Department established the organization in early March, and it is headed by Andrew Adams, a veteran federal prosecutor in New York City who has handled Russian organized crime cases before, according to Reuters. Representatives for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“To those bolstering the Russian regime through corruption and sanctions evasion: We will deprive you of safe haven and hold you accountable,” said deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco at the time. “Oligarchs be warned: we will use every tool to freeze and seize your criminal proceeds.”
Other assets seized from Deripaska, who was sanctioned before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, included a mansion in Washington, D.C, and a townhouse in New York’s West Village. The raids are thought to be key in authorities’ efforts to discover how Deripaska may be moving money around.
The property seizures in both cities also netted “half a dozen works of fine art,” as well as other odd lesser-value objects, such as sunglasses, hiking boots, and housewares, according to Bloomberg. The Rivera painting was the only artwork specifically identified.
Deripaska was sanctioned in 2018 for allegedly laundering money on behalf of Vladimir Putin. The following year he filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury claiming that the sanctions were unlawful and had caused “the utter devastation of Deripaska’s wealth, reputation, and economic livelihood.”
A judge denied the oligarch’s claim in 2021, pointing out that “Deripaska has not shown that he had a protected right to maintain the bank accounts he alleges were closed.”
The attorney who represented Deripaska in the suit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Deripaska has a current net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes.
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