The FBI searched properties in Washington and New York linked to a Russian oligarch
FBI agents executed search warrants Tuesday morning at a mansion in Washington, D.C., linked to the prominent Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
FBI agents could be seen at the stately residence located in northwest Washington near several embassies, and authorities had cordoned off the property with yellow police tape.
A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed the search but declined to give further details. NBC News was the first to report the raid.
It was not immediately clear what investigators were looking for, but the search is part of a criminal investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.
Deripaska made his fortune in metals in Russia in the 1990s, and U.S. officials say he is closely aligned with the country's president, Vladimir Putin.
Deripaska did business in the early 2000s with Paul Manafort, who later became Donald Trump's campaign chairman during the 2016 presidential race. Deripaska's relationship with Manafort later soured amid business and legal disputes.
Their relationship was detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report from his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In 2018, the U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on Deripaska and six other Russian oligarchs as well as Russian companies and government officials.
The Treasury said Deripaska claims to act on behalf of the Russian government. It also said he's been investigated for money laundering, accused of threatening business rivals, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.
"There are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group," the Treasury report said.
Deripaska sued the U.S. government over the sanctions. In his lawsuit, he called the allegations against him "nothing more than false rumor and innuendo," and said they are rooted in decades-old attacks from his business competitors.
This summer, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed the case.
NPR national security correspondent Greg Myre contributed to this report.
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