The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that they would be launching a task force that will enforce sanctions the Biden administration has imposed on Russian government officials and oligarchs for its invasion of Ukraine.
In a news release, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the creation of Task Force KleptoCapture, which is a team that consists of prosecutors and federal agents that are experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, asset forfeiture, anti-money laundering, tax enforcement, national security investigations, and foreign evidence collection.
“The Justice Department will use all of its authorities to seize the assets of individuals and entities who violate these sanctions,” said Garland in the statement. “We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war. Let me be clear: if you violate our laws, we will hold you accountable.”
The task force will prosecute those who try to violate new and future sanctions, evade know-your-customer and anti-money laundering measures, try to use cryptocurrency to avoid U.S. sanctions, or try to asset forfeiture authorities seize assets belonging to sanctioned individuals.
They will also seize the assets that belong to oligarchs and others who violate the sanctions.
“To those bolstering the Russian regime through corruption and sanctions evasion: we will deprive you of safe haven and hold you accountable,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco in the news release. “Oligarchs be warned: we will use every tool to freeze and seize your criminal proceeds.”