On Tuesday morning the FBI has raided the home of billionaire Russian oligarch and energy tycoon Oleg Deripaska in a posh Washington D.C. neighborhood. His name began appearing in US media over the past years based on his ties to Paul Manafort. He's also widely considered part of Vladimir Putin's "inner circle".
An NBC correspondent posted video of the FBI "court-authorized law enforcement activity" in progress, however it's as yet undisclosed why they're after Deripaska - who is founder of Basic Element, among Russia's largest industrial groups - or exactly what it is US authorities are looking for. By the looks of it, multiple dozens of agents and police are present for the large high-profile raid.
According to Reuters, "NBC’s Tom Winter said federal agents were outside the property and restricting access. Federal Bureau of Investigation representatives could not immediately be reached to comment on the report."
FBI and local police have so far kept mum, but the powerful Russian oligarch's checkered past is already causing speculation to mount:
Deripaska became widely known in the U.S. for his ties to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was convicted on fraud charges stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Then-President Donald Trump pardoned Manafort in his final month in office.
In 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Deripaska and about two dozen other oligarchs and Kremlin officials with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Deripaska sued over the sanctions, but a U.S. judge in June dismissed his lawsuit.
The 53-year old's prime home residence is in Moscow, and Forbes recently estimated his net worth at about $5 billion.
That's no way to treat Christopher Steele's client! https://t.co/LXOxOjanza— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) October 19, 2021
Deripaska is among the 800 wealthiest people on the planet, and pre-2008 was briefly in the top ten. Here's a quick review major stories centered on the Russian oligarch via Forbes:
- Oleg Deripaska is the founder of Basic Element, a Russian industrial group with interests in aluminum, energy, construction, agriculture and more.
- In April 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions against Deripaska and some of his companies.
- In January 2019, OFAC lifted sanctions on En+ Group, UC Rusal and Eurosibenergo, and Deripaska agreed to permanently reduce his stake to 44.95%.
- He was the richest person in Russia and the 9th richest in the world in 2008 before nearly losing it all due to crashing markets and heavy debts.
- In an IPO in November 2017, En+ Group, which combined Deripaka's stake in UC Rusal and assets in the electric power industry, raised $1.5 billion.
Reminder: In 2012, Lawyer Adam Waldman hired Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, on Deripaska’s behalf in order to assist Deripaska against a lawsuit filed “by a business rival” [likely Michael Cherney].— Jeff Carlson (@themarketswork) October 19, 2021
Steele brought up Deripaska's VISA Case to Bruce Ohr in early 2016. https://t.co/B2Cgx9nUk6