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Tuesday
Jan102017

OFAC adds five Russians to Magnitsky sanctions list

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control added five Russians to its list of those sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act for alleged human rights abuses.

The most prominent name on Monday's list was the Russian government’s chief public investigator, Aleksandr I. Bastrykin. He reports directly to President Vladimir Putin.

With the names added Monday, OFAC has now listed 44 people subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the Magnitsky Act. Most on the list were implicated in the jailing and death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The U.S. adopted the Magnitsky Act in 2012. It imposes sanctions on those responsible for the 36-year-old lawyer's detention, abuse, or death. It also reaches those who concealed his mistreatment, or were involved in or benefited from the criminal conspiracy he uncovered.

Magnitsky died in custody in 2009 after uncovering a $230 million tax fraud against the Russian treasury. His evidence implicated a number of government officials and mobsters. The Russian government has said Magnitsky died of natural causes while in jail.

OFAC published the initial Magnitsky sanction list in April 2013. It included 18 individuals. A second list of individuals banned from entering the United States was classified, the State Department said. OFAC added five more names to the list in February 2016.

In September 2013, the DOJ filed a civil forfeiture action against the assets of nine companies that own real estate in Manhattan. The complaint named firms that allegedly laundered a portion of the $230 million stolen through the tax fraud that Magnitsky uncovered.

In December 2016, the U.S. Congress adopted a broader version of the Magnitsky Act. The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act gives the President the power to punish human rights violators and corrupt leaders from any country by banning them from travel to the United States and freezing their U.S. assets.

Monday's OFAC list also included Andrei K. Lugovoi and Dmitri V. Kovtun. British authorities have alleged they were involved in the poisoning death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Also added to the list were Stanislav Gordievsky and Gennady Plaksin. The United States has said they were lower level officials involved in the cover-up of Magnitsky’s death.

*     *     *

Here are the names OFAC added Monday to the Specially Designated Nationals List under the Magnitsky Act:

BASTRYKIN, Alexander Ivanovich, Russia; DOB 27 Aug 1953; Gender Male (individual) [MAGNIT].
 
GORDIEVSKY, Stanislav Evgenievich, Russia; DOB 09 Sep 1977; Gender Male (individual) [MAGNIT].
 
KOVTUN, Dmitri, Russia; DOB 1965; Gender Male (individual) [MAGNIT].
 
LUGOVOI, Andrei Konstantinovich, Russia; DOB 19 Sep 1966; Gender Male (individual) [MAGNIT].
 
PLAKSIN, Gennady Nikolaevich, Russia; DOB 31 Aug 1961; Gender Male (individual) [MAGNIT].

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.