FBI agents on Tuesday raided homes in Washington, D.C., and in New York City connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin and to Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
It was not immediately clear why the agents were at the home in the District’s Kalorama neighborhood, but an FBI spokesperson told The Washington Times that they were “conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity” at the mansion.
An industrial tycoon, Mr. Deripaska is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he became known in the U.S. for his ties to Manafort.
Manafort was convicted in 2018 on tax and bank fraud charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In 2016, the Treasury Department sanctioned Mr. Deripaska and nearly two dozen other Russian oligarchs and officials. He sued in an attempt to have the sanctions rescinded, but his case was dismissed by a federal judge in June.
At the home, according to CNN, the driveway was closed off by police tape, with several law enforcement cars parked nearby. Agents were seen going in and out of the large home.
Reuters reported that a representative for Mr. Deripaska said both homes belong to relatives of the oligarch.
A spokesperson for the news service that the FBI‘s New York field office conducted “law enforcement activity” at the home in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood but declined further comment.
Mr. Deripaska, 53, has been on a Treasury Department sanction list since 2018 because of his ties to Mr. Putin after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In an April 6, 2018, statement, the Treasury Department said Mr. Deripaska and six other Russian oligarchs engaged attempted to “subvert Western democracies,” and engaged in “malicious cyber activities.”
The statement continued: “Deripaska has been investigated for money laundering, and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.”
Mr. Deripaska’s companies, aluminum giant United Company Rusal and Basic Element, were also sanctioned, though Rusal was removed from the sanctions blacklist after Mr. Deripaska, worth an estimated $4.9 billion according to Forbes magazine, reduced his stake, according to The Guardian news site.