FBI surges on DC home of Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch from Paul Manafort trial

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  • Oleg Deripaska
    Russian businessman
  • Paul Manafort
    Paul Manafort
    American political consultant
  • Vladimir Putin
    Vladimir Putin
    President of Russia

WASHINGTON – Federal authorities roped off the D.C. home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska Tuesday, one of several Russian tycoons and government officials sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2018 for advancing "malign activities" of the Putin regime.

A law enforcement official confirmed the FBI's presence, but declined to elaborate on the nature of the action. A second official said that the search was related to federal inquiry based in New York.

NBC News first reported the D.C. search.

A close associate of Russia President Vladimir Putin, Deripaska was included in the Treasury enforcement notice as having been "investigated for money laundering, and ... accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering."

In this file photo taken on July 2, 2015, Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska attends Independence Day celebrations at Spaso House, the residence of the American Ambassador, in Moscow, Russia.
In this file photo taken on July 2, 2015, Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska attends Independence Day celebrations at Spaso House, the residence of the American Ambassador, in Moscow, Russia.

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"There are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group," according to the Treasury notice, which also included six other oligarchs, a dozen companies they controlled and 17 senior Russian government officials.

Deripaska also emerged as a figure in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whose deep financial ties with the aluminum magnate raised questions about the campaign's association with Russia.

In 2016, Manafort reportedly offered private briefings on the race to Deripaska.

"If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," The Washington Post reported in 2017, citing Manafort's email correspondence.

Manafort, who was convicted on federal financial fraud charges, was ultimately pardoned by Trump in the final weeks of his administration.

A Deripaska representative could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Following the Treasury action, Deripaska sued the department and then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, claiming that he had become the "latest victim of this country’s political infighting and ongoing reaction to Russia’s purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

"The effect of these unlawful actions has been the wholesale devastation of Deripaska’s wealth, reputation, and economic livelihood," the 2019 lawsuit stated, adding that he had been "ousted from the international business community, as banks and businesses refuse to transact or deal with him or his businesses out of fear of their own potential exposure to U.S. sanctions for doing so."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FBI hit home of Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch from Manafort trial

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