U.S. federal prosecutors have alleged that five Russian nationals laundered tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies for Russian oligarchs and sanctioned entities.
What Happened: The accused have been identified as Yury Orekhov, Artem Uss, Svetlana Kuzurgasheva, Timofey Telegin and Sergey Tulyakov. According to a press release published by the U.S. Department of Justice, the defendants allegedly used shell companies and cryptocurrencies to launder the funds involved in this scheme.
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“As alleged, the defendants were criminal enablers for oligarchs, orchestrating a complex scheme to unlawfully obtain U.S. military technology and Venezuelan-sanctioned oil through a myriad of transactions involving shell companies and cryptocurrency. Their efforts undermined security, economic stability and rule of law around the world,” stated U.S. attorney Breon Peace. “We will continue to investigate, disrupt and prosecute those who fuel Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine, evade sanctions and perpetuate the shadowy economy of transnational money laundering.”
The defendants allegedly used Tether USDT/USD for making illegal transactions, as per Coindesk.
“Stamping out evasion of export controls on military technology is among the Task Force’s highest priorities, and today’s arrest reflects the power of those controls when enforced by a dedicated team of expert agents and devoted foreign partners,” said Andrew Adams, the director of Task Force KleptoCapture.