Banks fooled in DOJ Russian yacht sanctions evasion case

DOJ building

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) announcement of charges against a U.K. businessman and his Russian partner for evading U.S. sanctions against a Russian oligarch provides insight into how the use of shell companies, third parties, and other methods can thwart the compliance efforts of financial institutions.

Richard Masters, of the United Kingdom, and Vladislav Osipov, of Russia, tried to hide the true ownership of the Tango, a 255-foot luxury yacht owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, the DOJ said in a press release Friday. Vekselberg was sanctioned by the United States in April 2018.

The efforts of Masters and Osipov allowed the Tango to be outfitted with equipment purchased from U.S. companies through the U.S. financial system, the DOJ alleged in its indictments, each filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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