FBI raids $15m US homes linked to Putin ally Oleg Deripaska who once hosted ...

FBI raids $15m US homes linked to Putin ally Oleg Deripaska who once hosted ...
FBI raids $15m US homes linked to Putin ally Oleg Deripaska who once hosted ...

The FBI have raided a $15million mansion in Washington DC and homes in New York City linked to Oleg Deripaska, a controversial Russian oligarch and President Putin ally who once hosted former UK Chancellor George Osborne and Peter Mandelson on his yacht.

FBI agents were seen surrounding the Washington DC residence connected to Deripaska, who has been linked to ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele, with the raid stemming from sanctions imposed on him in 2018.

The agents carried boxes out of a mansion in one of Washington's wealthiest neighborhoods, with yellow 'CRIME SCENE DO NOT ENTER' tape across the front lawn and towed away a vehicle on Monday.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the agency was conducting a court-authorized law enforcement activity at the home, but did not provide a specific reason for sealing off and searching the Washington mansion.

Deripaska's spokesman told Russian outlet Kommersant that searches were underway at his relatives' homes in New York and Washington. They said Deripaska doesn't own the homes but the searches are tied to US sanctions against him. 

A source told DailyMail.com that Deripaska hasn't been back to the US since at least 2017 and had no intention of returning after the Treasury Department hit him with sanctions, but those claims have not been verified. 

Deripaska, 53, along with other influential Russians, has been under U.S. sanctions since 2018 because of their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after alleged interference in the 2016 election. 

Deripaska once hosted Lord Mandelson on his super-yacht, where the pair holidayed alongside Nat Rothschild, then shadow chancellor George Osborne and Tory fund-raiser Andrew Feldman in Corfu in 2008.

FBI agents outside of Deripaska's Washington, DC home on Monday morning. His spokesman said it was not his but a relative’s home

FBI agents outside of Deripaska's Washington, DC home on Monday morning. His spokesman said it was not his but a relative’s home

The FBI has not given a reason for the activity but told multiple outlets that it was court-ordered

The FBI has not given a reason for the activity but told multiple outlets that it was court-ordered

Deripaska (left) is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of aiding the Kremlin in foreign influence operations

Deripaska (left) is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of aiding the Kremlin in foreign influence operations

Who is Oleg Deripaksa? 

Oleg Deripaska, who is said to be a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is considered one of Russia 's wealthiest men. 

Born in 1968 in the city of Dzerzhinsk, some 250 miles east of Moscow, Deripaska attended the School of Physics at Moscow State University before graduating from Moscow's School of Economics at Plekhanov Academy of Economics. 

He went on to establish himself in the domestic metals industry and in 2008, Forbes magazine listed Deripaska as the ninth-richest man in the world, worth about $28 billion. 

But when the financial crisis hit he almost went bankrupt before bouncing back - with the help of the Kremlin, according to some reports. 

In 2016, Forbes ranked Deripaska as Russia's 41st wealthiest man. 

He hit the headlines in 2017 when he was found to have ties with Paul Manfort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

A report claimed $26million was transferred from Oguster Management Ltd – a company owned by Deripaska – to Yiakora Ventures Ltd - entities linked to Manafort.

Manafort denied that any business he did with Deripaska a decade ago was related to helping the Russian government.

British peer Lord Mandelson is also an intimate friend of Deripaska, having in 2005 famously joined him in a 'Banya' — a traditional sauna in which they were thrashed with bunches of birch twigs by a 25-year-old man, before jumping into freezing water. 

Deripaska also hosted Lord Mandelson on his super-yacht, where the pair holidayed alongside Nat Rothschild, then shadow chancellor George Osborne and Tory fund-raiser Andrew Feldman in Corfu in 2008. 

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Deripaska filed a lawsuit in March 2019 against the Treasury Department, accusing it of illegally targeting him for sanctions, but the suit was tossed out this year by a federal judge.

The activity at the homes linked to Deripaska is connected to a federal investigation based in New York, a spokesperson told CNN.

It's not clear whether that would be the Southern District of New York, known for prosecuting some of the most high-profile cases in the country including an ongoing federal probe into Rudy Giuliani's ties to Ukraine and an investigation into Donald Trump's business affairs. 

A spokesman for the Southern District of New York declined to comment. 

Properties linked to Deripaska in New York include a sprawling $42.5 million mansion in Manhattan's Upper East Side neighborhood. That home was among a number of assets that were frozen by the sanctions.

He was able to allow the children and ex-wife of his former business partner, the oligarch Roman Abramovich, to live there, the New York Post reported in 2018. 

The New York property being raided on Monday is reportedly in Manhattan's West Village.  

Deripaska also has ties to the UK's former chancellor George Osborne, having hosted him on his yacht off Corfu in 2008 for drinks when he was shadow chancellor. 

It sparked accusations the ex-chancellor was canvassing him for donations to the Conservative Party coffers. Osborne denies these accusations. 

Last month, Osborne won his first bit of business as an investment banker with the firm set up by Deripaska. 

Osborne joined boutique advisory firm Robey Warshaw in April and thanks to his contacts the firm is now advising Russian aluminium giant Rusal.

Rusal is a subsidiary of London listed EN+, a metals company founded by oligarch Oleg Deripaska in 2002. 

British peer Lord Mandelson is also an intimate friend of Deripaska, having in 2005 famously joined him in a 'Banya' — a traditional sauna in which they were thrashed with bunches of birch twigs by a 25-year-old man, before jumping into freezing water. 

Deripaska also hosted Lord Mandelson on his super-yacht, where the pair holidayed alongside Nat Rothschild, then

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