Russian Assets to be Seized in Miami as Part of New Biden Sanctions Plan

Russian Assets to be Seized in Miami as Part of New Biden Sanctions Plan

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
February 24, 2024

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a series of measures enforcing a new sanctions plan announced by President Joe Biden on the eve of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s Ukraine invasion.

These include the forfeiture of $2.5 million in Russian-luxury properties, two arrests, two charges against sanctioned Russian oligarchs, and a guilty plea in a significant money laundering case.

Today's actions coincide with the approaching two-year mark of Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine. Read more about the Justice Department's efforts to hold Russia accountable here.

"The Justice Department is more committed than ever to cutting off the flow of illegal funds that are fueling Putin's war and to holding accountable those who continue to enable it," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

According to Attorney General Garland, the DOJ’s ‘KleptoCapture’ task force has seized over $700 million in assets from Russian agents.

In Miami, the DOJ filed a civil forfeiture complaint against two Miami luxury condominium properties owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Perevalov. The properties, located at the Ritz Carlton in Bal Harbour, are valued at $2.5 million.

Farther up north, a grand jury in the Middle District of Florida returned an indictment charging Sergey Vitalievich Kurchenko, a sanctioned pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch. Kurchenko is accussed of circumventing U.S. sanctions and doing approximately $330 million in business with U.S. persons.

Garland claimed the DOJ’s latest actions aim "to bring prosecutions against and seize assets of sanctioned enablers of the Kremlin and Russian military."

President Joe Biden also announced over 500 new sanctions against Russia in response to the continuation of the war against Ukraine and the death of Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny.

The sanctions intend to fetter Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks, and sanctions evaders across multiple continents.

Biden took the sanctions announcement as another opportunity to pressure the US House of Representatives into approving the national security supplemental bill the Senate recently passed.

According to CNN, the aid bill contains billions of dollars to support Ukraine and for security assistance for Israel, as well as humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.

House Republicans have criticized the bill’s failure to deal with the migratory crisis along the US’s southwest border.

Aside from granting $481 million for refugee and immigrant arrival social services, the foreign aid bill does not include any immigration or border enforcement measures.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has stated he will halt the bill from reaching the floor for a vote.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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