DOJ Task Force ‘KleptoCapture’ to Target Crypto Exchanges in Sanctions Evasion Crackdown – According to reports, a new Department of Justice (DOJ) task force called ‘KleptoCapture’ will enforce sanctions on Russian oligarchs as well as anyone who helps them hide their money, including crypto service providers.
On March 2, the KleptoCapture task force was established. According to the Department of Justice, it is “an interagency law enforcement task force committed to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.”
The DOJ official claimed that the KleptoCapture task force will have a “broader perspective” of who it considers to be a facilitator in sanctions evasions.
The DOJ official stated:
“Our goal is to file any applicable charges against any sanctioned Russian oligarch or business, as well as anyone who assists them in evading economic sanctions.”
“Actors who stick their heads in the sand, or blind themselves to moving dirty money may face money laundering charges for their role in concealing those proceeds,” the official added.
The official from the Department of Justice emphasized:
This inquiry will target banks, financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges, and money transmission services that wilfully fail to maintain proper anti-money laundering rules and procedures and allow these oligarchs to move money, allowing for the flow of their money.
Attorney General Merrick Garland warned last week that the Department of Justice would “leave no stone unturned” in pursuing assets that were obtained in violation of the new sanctions.
“The task force will bring together agents, prosecutors, translators, and analysts from across the department and the United States government to pursue the crimes and assets of Russian oligarchs, as well as others who have enabled the Russian regime responsible for the invasion of Ukraine,” the senior DOJ official explained.
DOJ Task Force ‘KleptoCapture’ to Target Crypto Exchanges in Sanctions Evasion Crackdown – Through extortion, corruption, and the degradation of the rule of law, those enablers have accumulated vast fortunes. Dismantling, disruption, and discomfort for those enablers and their network define success for this task force.
“Simply being blocked, or simply belonging to a known oligarch is not in itself sufficient for the Department of Justice to forfeit that property or to obtain a seizure warrant,” the official clarified, adding that just because oligarchs are subject to US sanctions does not mean the Justice Department can simply seize their property.