(HorizonPost.com) – US sanctions were bypassed by a Ukrainian oligarch and politician in a muddled scheme, according to The Daily Wire. Russian-backed Ukrainian politician, who was a member of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, Andrii Derkach, reportedly faces 30 years in prison for fraudulently buying up property in California.
Derkach, who was previously sanctioned for trying to influence the 2020 elections, was charged with seven criminal counts, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. The charges include “conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), bank fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and four counts of money laundering in connection with the purchase and maintenance of two condominiums in Beverly Hills, California.”
Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said that while Derkach was trying to manipulate the elections on behalf of Russian Intelligence Services, he tried to give him and his family a luxurious lifestyle, leading to the property purchases in California.
The indictment says that the scheme to procure the properties began in 2013. Derkach and an unnamed co-conspirator planned to buy the two plots. The oligarch then used a corporate nominee, who holds assets in place of another individual, to hide his interests. From Latvian and Swiss bank accounts registered in the British Virgin Islands, Derkach then wired $4 million to the nominee account.
The corporation then reportedly used $3.2 million to purchase the properties and placed the remaining $800,000 in a brokerage account to fund expenses. Because Derkach reportedly obscured his involvement in the purchases, he prevented the companies from transferring money into his sanctioned accounts.
Derkach is currently at large but could face up to 30 years in prison if captured. While the search continues, the DOJ says that it will seize his civil assets, properties, and the funds remaining in his bank and brokerage accounts.
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