The FBI searches homes connected to Russian metal tycoon Oleg Deripaskar

The FBI searched a Washington residence linked to Oleg Deripaskar, reconsidering U.S. enforcement action against a Russian metal trader who was banned in 2018 due to alleged links to the Kremlin.

The agency said in a statement Tuesday that it was conducting “court-approved law enforcement activities” at a DC address, declined to give further details.

A spokesman for Deripaskar said: “The FBI is searching two homes in Washington and New York – relatives of Mr Deripaskar. The search is being conducted on the basis of two court orders linked to the US sanctions. The houses do not belong to Mr Deripaskar.

In April 2012, Deripaska and two other prominent Russian elites and government officials were hit hard by accusations by Washington of tough action in response to Moscow’s 2014 Crimea invasion and of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

At the time, elites said the claims were unfounded and that the Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. sanctions policy, had filed a lawsuit against the Office of Foreign Asset Control. In June, a U.S. district court judge dismissed the case.

The U.S. Treasury last year imposed sanctions on Deripaskar – whose fortune is about 5 5 billion, according to Forbes – citing reports that he helped Russian President Vladimir Putin smuggle money. At the time, Deripaska and Putin’s spokesmen denied the allegations.

He came under scrutiny from U.S. investigators for his business dealings with former President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was convicted in 2018 of tax evasion and bank fraud in 2018 after an investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2011 election. Manafort was among dozens of people who pardoned Trump in the last days of his power last year.

Deripaska built the aluminum, energy and industrial empires from private state-owned resources after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and was Russia’s richest man before the 200 financial crisis.

The palace, which was attacked by the FBI, remains one of the hottest properties in Washington’s real estate market. In 2006, Deripaska reportedly paid 15 15 million for a 23,000-square-foot home, including seven bedrooms and Italian marble floors.

Formerly owned by Herbert Huff, the late discount store tycoon, the white stone house is a few steps from Embassy Row, home to diplomatic missions, embassies and senior government officials.

Additional report by Joshua Chaffin

* This article has been updated to reflect a statement from a Deripaskar spokesman after initial publication that they said the house belonged to his relatives

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