SDNY just unsealed an indictment against Oleg Deripaska and three others for sanctions violations. Just one person — naturalized US Citizen Olga Shikri — was in the US to be arrested. The other main consequences from this indictment will be the forfeiture of property related to the sanctions violations. The indictment lists the three properties that were searched last year.
The central allegations in the indictment pertain to efforts — successful with a first child, and unsuccessful with a second — to set up Deripaska’s girlfriend to give birth in the US and via that process, obtain US citizenship for the child.
Then, in or about 2020, SHRIKI and BARDAKOVA helped DERIPASKA’s girlfriend, VORONINA, travel from Russia to the United States so she could give birth to DERIPASKA’s and VORONINA’s child in the United States. Despite DERIPASKA’s ongoing support for the Russian regime, he funded hundreds of thousands of dollars of transactions so that his child could take advantage of the U.S. healthcare system and U.S. birthright. SHRIKI orchestrated the payment of approximately $300,000 worth of U.S. medical care, housing, childcare, and other logistics to aid VORONINA and DERIPASKA’s efforts to help VORONINA give birth in the United States, which resulted in the child receiving U.S. citizenship. DERIPASKA counseled VORONINA on obtaining a visa to travel to the United States, including by telling her to be “careful” ahead of an interview by U.S. immigration authorities. VORONINA thereafter applied for and obtained a U.S. visa for a purported ten-day tourism visit without disclosing her intent to travel and stay in the United States for approximately six months to give birth to DERIPASKA’s child. Following the birth, SHRIKI, BARDAKOVA, and VORONINA conspired to conceal the name of the child’s true father, DERIPASKA, going so far as to change, slightly, the spelling of the child’s last name.
Later, in or about 2022, at DERIPASKA’s further behest and for his further benefit, SHRIKI and BARDAKOVA attempted to facilitate VORONINA’s return to the United States to give birth to DERIPASKA’s and VORONINA’s second child. This second attempt included BARDAKOVA and VORONINA’s attempt to use false statements to conceal DERIPASKA’s funding and secure VORONINA’s entry into the United States – an attempt that was thwarted, and VORONINA was denied entry and returned immediately to Istanbul, through which she had flown from Russia to the United States.
In addition to a music studio sold in 2019, the indictment refers to other purchases in the US, including Easter flowers for a US TV host.
BARDAKOVA – largely based in Russia – directed SHRIKI to engage in particular illegal transactions on DERIPASKA’s behalf. These instructions included directing SHRIKI to obtain U.S. goods and technology for DERIPASKA. Moreover, between in or about May 2018 and in or about 2020, BARDAKOVA instructed SHRIKI to purchase and send flower and gift deliveries on behalf of DERIPASKA to DERIPASKA’s social contacts in the United States and Canada. The deliveries included, among others, Easter gift deliveries to a U.S. television host, two flower deliveries to a then-former Canadian Parliament member, and two flower deliveries in 2020 to VORONINA while she was in the United States in 2020 to give birth to DERIPASKA’s child.
Perhaps most interesting to me is that the investigation was active in 2020, in the wake of Geoffrey Berman’s firing. Shriki is accused of destroying records in advance of a September 23 grand jury appearance. This was the period when Barr was furiously cleaning up all remaining traces of the Russian investigation (and it was the same month when Yevgeniy Prigozhin’s Interpol red notice was withdrawn, even though the indictment against him in the US remains).
In Berman’s book (which I’ll write about one of these days), he makes it quite clear Barr was protecting Rudy in this period. Was he also protecting Deripaska?
Update: Interesting timing! Andy Beshear announced he has recouped the $15 Million Matt Bevin dumped in Deripaska’s aluminum venture in KY.