Russian Billionaire Deripaska loses court case against U.S. Treasury Department to lift sanctions
The U.S. court for the District of Colombia has decided to reject billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury to lift personal sanctions imposed in 2018.
Deripaska, formerly Russia’s richest person, will remain on the blacklist of the Office of Foreign Assets Control with a visa ban and blocking of all assets in the U.S., according to a ruling by Judge Amit Mehta released on Sunday.
During the court hearings, the billionaire, whose fortune is estimated at $3.8 billion, argued that the decision to include him in the sanctions list is arbitrary, unsubstantiated and exceeding the authority of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The businessman also claimed that his rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits being tried twice for the same crime and seizing property without fair reparation, were violated.
The court rejected the arguments of Deripaska’s lawyers, and, during the court proceedings, the U.S. Department of the Treasury declassified some of the data which was the basis for including Deripaska in the list.
In particular, the Department of the Treasury cited six cases of Deripaska’s actions, which, according to Washington, show his ties to the Kremlin and which became the basis for the imposition of sanctions against him.
First, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Russian President Vladimir Putin persuaded Deripaska to invest $800 million in organizing the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014.
Secondly, Deripaska, according to Washington, financed the Kremlin’s projects in 2018 at the request of Putin and top officials. Third, he, according to U.S. officials, canceled the IPO of the GAZ group to “hide Putin’s money laundering through his company.”
Fourth, Deripaska was identified in December 2016 as “a person who owns assets and launders funds in Putin’s interests.” In 2011, his business activities were reportedly used to transfer funds for Putin’s personal interests.
Finally, Deripaska, according to the materials of the case, acted on Putin’s personal instructions in negotiations with representatives of Kyrgyzstan.
Deripaska called all this data false. He filed a lawsuit to lift the sanctions in 2019 and demanded $7.5 billion in damages he allegedly suffered due to sanctions.
In addition to Deripaska himself, the sanctions were imposed against the companies Rusal, Basic Element, En+, Russian Machines, Eurosibenergo and GAZ Group.
In January 2019, sanctions against Rusal, En+, and Eurosibenergo were lifted, but Deripaska lost control over the companies. His share in En+, decreased from 70% to 44.95%. He continued to own only 0.01% of Rusal shares, for which he is not entitled to receive dividends.