Jersey connected Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Associates Indicted for Sanctions Evasion and Obstruction of Justice
Oleg Deripaska, while serving the Russian state and energy sector, sought to circumvent U.S. sanctions through lies and deceit to cash in on and benefit from the American way of life. Further a U.S. Citizen is arrested for their role in facilitating illicit travel by Deripaska's girlfriend and in real estate transactions
Russian Oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska and Associates [Bardakova and Shriki] are charged with:
- One count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Olga Shriki, 42, a New Jersey resident and NATURALIZED U.S. CITIZEN, is further charged
- One count of destruction of records, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Natalia Mikhaylovna Bardakova, aka Natalya Mikhaylovna Bardakova, 45, AND Ekaterina Olegovna Voronina, aka Ekaterina Lobanova,33, are each further charged with
- One count of making false statements to federal agents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The indictment also provides notice of the United States intention to forfeit from Deripaska the proceeds of his offence, including:
- The U.S. Properties and
- The proceeds from the sale of the music studio.
Deripaska, the owner and controller of "BASIC ELEMENT LIMTED", a JERSEY private investment and management company [NOW DISOLVED] for Deripaska's various business interests, was subjected to economic sanctions ON APRIL 6, 2018.
- BASIC ELEMENT LIMITED Registration Number: 84039
- Type: Registered Company Private
- Status: Inactive (Dissolved)
- Registered on: 16/09/2002
- DISSOLUTION / CEASED DATE: 01/10/2019
- Registered Office: NO LONGER APPLICABLE BECAUSE THE ENTITY IS DISSOLVED
ON APRIL 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Deripaska as a Specially Designated National (SDN) in connection with its finding that the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States (the OFAC Sanctions).
In designating Deripaska, OFAC explained that Deripaska was sanctioned for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy.
Deripaska conspired with others to evade and violate those sanctions in various ways over the course of several years.
Deripaska, through the corporate entity Gracetown Inc., illegally utilized the U.S. financial system to maintain and
- Retain three luxury properties in the United States (the U.S. Properties), and
- Further employed Olga Shriki and Natalia Mikhaylovna Bardakova to utilize U.S. financial institutions to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of services for his benefit in the United States.
For example, in or about 2019,
- Shriki facilitated for Deripaska's benefit the sale of a music studio in California for over $3 million.
- Deripaska had owned the studio through a series of corporate shell companies that obscured his actual ownership.
- Following the sale of the studio, Shriki attempted to expatriate over $3 million in proceeds through one such shell company, Ocean Studios California LLC, to a Russia-based account belonging to another Deripaska company.
Bardakova – largely based in Russia – directed Shriki to engage in particular illegal transactions on Deripaska's behalf.
These instructions included directing Shriki to obtain U.S. goods and technology for Deripaska.
Moreover, between in or about May 2018 and in or about 2020, Bardakova instructed Shriki to
Purchase and send flower and gift deliveries on behalf of Deripaska to Deripaska's social contacts in the United States and Canada.
The deliveries included, among others, Easter gift deliveries to a U.S. television host, two flower deliveries to a then-former Canadian Parliament member, and two flower deliveries in 2020 to Voronina while she was in the United States in 2020 to give birth to Deripaska's child.
Then, in or about 2020, Shriki and Bardakova helped Deripaska's girlfriend, Voronina, travel from Russia to the United States so that she could give birth to Deripaska's and Voronina's child in the United States.
- Despite Deripaska's ongoing support for the Russian regime, he funded hundreds of thousands of dollars of transactions so that his child would take advantage of the U.S. health care system and U.S. birth right citizenship.
- Despite Deripaska's ongoing support for the Russian regime, Deripaska distrusted the safety of the Russian hospital system.
As alleged, Shriki orchestrated the payment of approximately $300,000 worth of U.S. medical care, housing, childcare, and other logistics to support Voronina to give birth in the United States, which resulted in the child receiving U.S. citizenship.
As part of this scheme, Deripaska counselled Voronina on obtaining a U.S. visa, including by telling her to be "careful" ahead of an interview by U.S. immigration authorities.
Voronina thereafter applied for and obtained a U.S. visa for a purported 10-day tourism visit without disclosing her intent to travel and stay in the United States for approximately six months to give birth to Deripaska's child.
Following the birth, Shriki, Bardakova, and Voronina conspired to conceal the name of the child's true father, Deripaska, going so far as to change, slightly, the spelling of the child's last name.
Later, in or about 2022, Shriki and Bardakova attempted to facilitate Voronina's return to the United States to give birth to Deripaska's and Voronina's second child.
- This second attempt included Bardakova and Voronina's attempt to use false statements to conceal Deripaska's funding and secure Voronina's entry into the United States –
- an attempt that was thwarted and Voronina was denied entry and returned immediately to Istanbul, through which she had flown from Russia to the United States.