The US Department of Justice has charged Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska with conspiracy "to evade sanctions" and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. This is reported by Reuters, citing a statement by US Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The indictment also includes Natalya Bardakova and Ekaterina Voronina (Lobanova), as well as US citizen Olga Shriki. The investigation claims that Deripaska transferred funds to the accounts of women, and they provided or organized various services in his interests. The billionaire also maintained three real estate objects with these funds and, with the help of Shrika, made a deal to sell a music studio in California. Shriki is also charged with obstruction of justice, as she deleted electronic records proving her involvement in sanctions evasion after receiving a subpoena. She was arrested on the morning of September 29th.
The conclusion also states that Shriki and Bardakova arranged Voronina's trip to the United States in 2020 so that she could give birth to Deripaska's child.
Deripaska came under anti-Russian sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine. In April, the French Ministry of Finance arrested three villas in the south of the country, which, presumably, belong to large Russian entrepreneurs. The list includes Villa "Hercules", located near the resort of Saint-Tropez on the Cote d'Azur. According to Nice Matin, this mansion has been owned by billionaire Oleg Deripaska since 2005.
According to the BFM TV channel, four yachts, six helicopters and about 30 luxury properties owned by Russians have already been arrested in France.
Russian real estate abroad is also seized by activists who oppose corruption and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In March, in Biarritz, local activist Pierre Affner entered the villa of Putin's daughter Alta Mira, changed the locks, and declared that the villa was ready to accept refugees from the Putin regime, primarily Ukrainians. In total, the villa has eight beds and three bathrooms. And in London, activists seized Deripaska's mansion. They hung a Ukrainian flag on the facade of the building and banners with the inscriptions "Property is vacated" and "Putin, go to hell." The activists planned to open a mansion, which they say has “too many rooms, including a cinema and a wine cellar,” for Ukrainian refugees and those in need of asylum.