US Sanctions Russian Businessman, 3 Companies Involved in Scheme to Evade Sanctions Tied to Russia's Metals Tycoon

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 15, 2024 06:57 AM EDT

The US has imposed sanctions against a Russian businessman, and three companies based in Russia allegedly used in a scheme to evade US sanctions that could have unfrozen over $1.5 billion industrial stake belonging to Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska. 

A Russian ruble coin is pictured with a US dollar bill and a quarter dollar coin in Moscow, on October 10, 2023. The ruble fell further against the dollar, a few days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the sanctions-hit country's economic situation was "stable".
(Photo : ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

US Targets Companies Linked to Russian Tycoon Oleg Deripaska

In April 2018, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Oleg Deripaska, a metals tycoon who was once Russia's richest person.

Australia, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom had also sanctioned him. In September 2022, the US Department of Justice charged Deripaska with conspiring to violate and evade US sanctions.

In a press statement released on Tuesday, OFAC said that in June 2023, Deripaska coordinated with Dmitrii Beloglazov, the owner of Russia-based financial services firm Obshchestvo S Ogranichennoi Otvetstvennostiu Titul, on a planned transaction to sell Deripaska's frozen shares in a European firm believed to be the Austrian construction firm Strabag SE. 

After weeks of coordination, the agency noted that the Russia-based financial services company Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Iliadis was put up as a subsidiary of Titul. 

OFAC said that early this year, Iliadis acquired Russia-based investment holding firm International Company Joint Stock Company Rasperia Trading Limited, which holds Deripaska's frozen shares that would be sold to Raiffeisen Bank International under the deal.

Last year, the bank announced the acquisition of 28.5 million shares of Strabag SE from Rasperia but recently canceled the plan.

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Treasury Sanctions Russian Businessman, 3 Companies in Russia for US Sanctions Evasion Scheme

Dmitrii Beloglazov and the three Russian firms involved are now sanctioned by the US. The Treasury said sanctions were imposed on Beloglazov, Titul, and Iliadis for operating or having operated in Russia's financial services sector, while Rasperia was sanctioned for being owned, controlled by, or having acted or purported to act on behalf of Iliadis.

The US government has been targeting individuals and businesses sustaining Russian President Vladimir Putin's war effort. The sanctions freeze the US assets of the targeted entities and generally prohibit Americans from dealing with them.

"Treasury will continue to take action to protect the integrity of our multilateral sanctions regime and stop evasion by the Kremlin and its oligarch enablers," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the statement.

"Anyone still doing business in or with Russia should be skeptical of supposed divestment schemes that involve shell companies or proxies linked to sanctioned oligarchs. Corporate sales and acquisitions can be abused for money laundering and sanctions evasion," he added.

READ MORE: US Imposes Sanctions on 4 Entities for Carrying Russian Oil Priced Above the Western Price Cap

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