Deripaska Says U.S. Fails to Prove He Acted as Putin Agent
04 Sep 2019

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska wants a U.S. judge to lift sanctions against him because, he claims, the U.S. Treasury Department failed to prove he acted as an agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, known as OFAC, punished Deripaska last year in response to Russia’s “worldwide malign activities,” which included occupying Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, supplying weapons to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and attempting to subvert Western democracies.

Deripaska sued the U.S. this year over the sanctions, claiming they unfairly caused his net worth to drop by $7.5 billion as banks withdrew credit and as other businesses refused to work with him. In support of that lawsuit, Deripaska filed papers Monday saying that a redacted version of Treasury records concluded that he supported Putin’s projects, not that he acted on the leader’s behalf.

“OFAC provides no explanation as to how it determined that support for a project associated with a specific individual is the equivalent of acting for or on their behalf,” according to the filing in federal court in Washington. Deripaska is currently worth about $2.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

On Aug. 2, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and OFAC asked a judge to dismiss Deripaska’s lawsuit, arguing that as a foreign national, he can’t argue that his constitutional rights to due process were violated.

The filing on Monday said that eight of the nine paragraphs in an OFAC memorandum supporting the factual basis for the Deripaska sanctions were redacted, and that the Russian has no “alternative means to learn of the reasons” for the action. The Aug. 2 filing said that the redacted material was classified.

By David Voreacos, Bloomberg, 3 September 2019

Read more at Bloomberg

Photo: World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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