U.S. prosecutors have filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit against the superyacht Amadea, worth around $300 million and beneficially owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleyman Kerimov, the U.S. Justice Department said on Oct. 23.
Kerimov, sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia's activities in Ukraine and Syria, reportedly purchased Amadea through front companies in 2021.
The Dagestan-born oligarch and his family have taken "multiple trips aboard the Amadea, planned extensive renovations to the Amadea, made long-term plans for the Amadea's travel schedule, and assumed all liability and responsibility for the Amadea's upkeep and running costs," the Justice Department said.
The yacht was seized by the Fijian authorities in the spring of 2022 and is now docked in San Diego, under the control of the U.S. government.
The lawsuit is expected to start a long judicial process, upon which the U.S. will likely seek the ownership of the yacht in order to auction it and transfer proceeds to Ukraine, Reuters reported.
Kerimov amassed much of his wealth through a stake in Russian gold producer Polyus. Forbes estimates the net worth of the oligarch and his family at $10.7 billion.