The FBI on Tuesday conducted a raid on the Washington, D.C., and New York City houses belonging to the family of Russian billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, NBC News reports.
A spokesperson for Deripaska told NBC that the FBI raids ''are being carried out on the basis of two court orders, connected to US sanctions,'' and that the houses are owned by the billionaire's relatives.
Deripaska was sanctioned by the U.S. three years ago as part of the U.S. response to alleged Russian cyberattacks and interference in the 2016 election. A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed that ''court-authorized law enforcement activity'' was conducted at the house in Washington.
Deripaska made his fortune after the collapse of the Soviet Union as the main shareholder of Rusal, then the world's largest producer of aluminum. However, he was previously barred from entering the U.S. due to alleged connections to organized crime, claims that Deripaska denies.
He was more recently investigated following the 2016 election, according to The Wall Street Journal, having previously arranged work in Ukraine for then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The Journal reports that Manafort ended up in debt to Deripaska due to an unsuccessful investment and offered to provide the Russian billionaire with private briefings about the campaign. Deripaska has not been charged with a crime in connection with his business dealings with Manafort, and he has denied any wrongdoing.
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