Russian Businessman Deripaska Denies US Money Laundering Claims
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) Russian billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska has denied the US Treasury's claim that he laundered money, saying in a comment to Sputnik on Friday that sanctions on him were political.
The Financial Times daily has quoted a letter, sent by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to his DC-based lawyer who sued it for failing to justify the 2018 sanctions, saying Deripaska was "reportedly identified" as a person laundering funds for the Russian president.
"Anyone who reads the OFAC letter will see that it is full of hearsay and total nonsense. It is nothing but baseless rumors that would have been rejected by any court," Deripaska said through his spokesperson.
OFAC, which enforces US economic sanctions, slapped the metals magnate and other Russian business people and government officials in April 2018 with penalties over Russia's alleged role in the Ukraine crisis.
Deripaska told Sputnik that the sanctions were unjustified. He said the accusations against him could have been "laughed off" had they not affected hundreds of thousands of jobs in Russia and elsewhere.
"OFAC has never had a reason to impose these sanctions. The case against me violates human rights and tries to hijack the US judiciary to use it for political goals," the businessman said.
OFAC last year provided attorney Erich Ferrari with a redacted copy of the administrative record on Deripaska after he demanded that it elaborate the reasons for the sanctions. It sent further justifications in the letter last month, which all cited reports without disclosing their sources.