US obtains warrant to seize Russian oligarch’s $90 million jet

NEW YORK—A federal district judge on Monday allowed the United States to seize a $90 million jet owned by Russian oligarchs in a continued effort to undermine the Russian government’s financial pillar after its invasion of Ukraine. did.

The attempt to seize Andrei Skoch’s private plane, an Airbus A319-100, was part of a months-long hunt against sanctioned Russian oligarchs and their blocked properties, federal prosecutor Damian said. Williams announced.

The steel magnate Skoch is one of the richest people in the Russian Duma, or parliament. According to Forbes, his fortune is valued at around $6.6 billion. The U.S. Treasury Department imposed its first sanctions on Skoch in April 2018, citing organized crime ties and being a “member of the Russian Federation’s House of Representatives.”

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control took action against Skoch and his assets, including identifying Airbus as an asset Skoch had an interest in in June, according to a statement by law enforcement officials. imposed additional sanctions.

The warrant to seize the plane, now in Kazakhstan, was issued after federal agents filed an affidavit stating that Skoch is the owner of Airbus through a series of shell companies and trusts. Signed by Lehrburger. Tied to his romantic partner. Authorities said the jet was worth more than $90 million.

Andrew C. Adams, director of the Task Force to Track Russian Oligarch Assets, said:

The U.S. had already revealed that it was seeking to seize the $156 million superyacht Madame Goo, owned by Skoch, a 324-foot (98-meter) yacht with a helicopter pad, gym and beach club. , there is an elevator.

The Madame Gu yacht, owned by Russian businessman Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch, is docked at Dubai’s Al Rashid port on June 27, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

In June, the Treasury Department issued additional sanctions against Skoch and his assets, barring American companies from doing business with superyachts. She is docked at Port Rashid, Dubai. Skoch is also licensed by the European Union.

The United Arab Emirates has not taken sides after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, welcoming the influx of Russian money into seaside villas and luxury hotels. has become a safe haven for Russian oligarchs to store their assets.

In June, a U.S. court ordered the seizure of two aircraft worth more than $400 million believed to belong to licensed Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The former Chelsea football club owner Boeing 787 Dreamliner was in the UAE, according to sources.

Larry Neumeister

Associated Press