Sanctioned Russian Billionaire Files Lawsuit Against UBS in Germany Over Money Laundering Alerts

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jun 18, 2024 07:56 AM EDT

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has filed a lawsuit against a German unit of UBS Group AG over anti-money laundering reports that triggered a criminal investigation of him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), accompanied by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, visits the Lebedinsky iron ore mine and processing plant in the Belgorod region on July 14, 2017.
(Photo : MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian Billionaire Sues UBS Over Money Laundering Alerts

According to Bloomberg, the claim centers on reports by UBS from 2018 to 2022, which allegedly misidentified certain financial transactions as suspicious. A court spokeswoman in Frankfurt confirmed the filing but noted that the case has not progressed since Alisher Usmanov has yet to pay the necessary legal fees.

Usmanov's lawyers noted that they received the court's invoice on Monday and promptly arranged the payment. According to Usmanov's lawyers, UBS' actions had led to financial losses and massive damage to their client's reputation.

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Sanctioned Russian Billionaire

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Alisher Usmanov faced sanctions from the US, the European Union, and the UK. He joined other sanctioned billionaires in seeking legal remedies to remove their names from sanction lists and unfreeze their assets, albeit with limited success.

In 2022, to investigate alleged sanctions violations, German authorities conducted nationwide raids on properties connected to Usmanov. That included searches at UBS's offices in Frankfurt and Munich. A Frankfurt court later deemed the warrants for these searches illegal. 

READ MORE: Russia Could Turn Against Vladimir Putin as Economic Strength Wanes and Western Sanctions Heighten, Economists Warn  

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