FBI agents raided a Washington, D.C. home belonging to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a U.S. Official told several new agencies on Tuesday.
The spokeswoman did not provide attritional details about the FBI presence at the Russian tycoon’s residence, as multiple agents were seen restricting access to the property.
The Russian billionaire is believed to have close links to the Kremlin and rose to prominence during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, and several companies he controls, were also among a group of more than three dozen Russian officials and entities hit with sweeping sanctions by the Trump administration in 2018. The Treasury Department said at the time he was sanctioned for “having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of” a senior Russian government official, as well as for his work in Russia’s energy sector.
According to the Treasury Department, he was investigated for money laundering and was accused of threatening business rivals’ lives, illegally wiretapping a government official and participating in extortion and racketeering. The Trump administration also cited allegations that Deripaska “bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group.”
Deripaska sued over the sanctions, but a U.S. judge dismissed his lawsuit in June.
In 2019, the Trump administration lifted sanctions on three companies connected to Deripaska after an attempt by Congress to block the move failed. The sanctions on Deripaska, however, remained in place.
Deripaska became widely known in the U.S. for his ties to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was convicted on fraud charges stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
During federal court proceedings in the Justice Department’s case against Manafort, documents revealed he received a $10 million loan from Deripaska in 2005.
Deripaska’s wealth is currently estimated at $4.9bn, according to Forbes magazine.
Then President Donald Trump pardoned Manafort in his final month in office.