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Federal agents on Tuesday raided two homes — a mansion in Washington and a historic townhouse in New York City — that are tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The FBI described the operation as “law enforcement activity” and would not provide any additional information about the circumstances surrounding her presence at the property or any information about a possible investigation involving Deripaska.

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The billionaire tycoon made his money in aluminum and is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“This is a businessman who was in the metals industry and various different companies with extremely close ties to the highest levels of the Russian government and was making just tremendous money in the billions and billions of dollars,” said Doug Burns, a former federal prosecutor. told Granthshala 5 NY.

While FBI agents removed boxes from a townhouse on Gay Street in Manhattan’s West Village, other agents conducted a similar search at a posh townhome in Embassy Row, Washington.

FBI agents search a historic townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (Granthshala 5 NY Images)

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A Deripaska spokeswoman told reporters the searches were “linked to US sanctions” and that the homes were not hers, but those of relatives.

Restrictions placed on Deripaska in 2018 bar her from doing business or owning property in the United States.

The Russian billionaire has also worked with former President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was indicted in the Russia investigation. Trump later pardoned Manafort.

Deripaska’s name also appears several times in the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign because he knew Manafort.

FBI agents remove several boxes of items and load them into vehicles from a home in Manhattan’s West Village on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (Granthshala 5 NY Images)

But Burns told Granthshala 5NY that he believes these discoveries may have more to do with sanctions than politics. of the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, once released a report about Deripaska and her ties.

“[OFAC] The report specifically cited that he had threatened business competitors,” Burns said. “He alleged that he may have been involved in money-laundering activities.”

Under the Trump administration, the Treasury Department lifted financial sanctions on three companies linked to Deripaska. The sanctions against Deripaska himself remain.

with Associated Press.

The historic townhouse is located on Gay Street in the West Village. (Granthshala 5 NY Images)