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US charges two businessmen with hiding Russian oligarch's ties to yacht
Two businessmen, one Russian and one British, were charged with helping to conceal sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg's $90 million yacht that was seized last year, the United States Justice Department said on Jan. 20.
Vladislav Osipov, 51, a dual Russian and Swiss national, and Richard Masters, 52, a U.K. national, were charged with crimes including sanctions evasion, money laundering, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to the Justice Department statement.
The yacht, named Tango, belongs to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg who the U.S. sanctioned in 2018. Spanish authorities impounded the superyacht on behalf of U.S. authorities last year.
"Despite U.S. sanctions issued against Vekselberg in April 2018, Osipov and Masters facilitated the operation of Tango through the use of U.S. companies and the U.S. financial system, attempting to obfuscate Vekselberg’s involvement in the vessel," the statement read.
Spanish police arrested Masters on Jan. 20, and a warrant has been put out for Osipov's arrest.