One element of the package would streamline the federal government’s efforts for seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs by creating a new administrative process through Treasury and the Justice Department “for the forfeiture of property in the United States that is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs and that has a connection to specified unlawful conduct.” It would make it a criminal offense for people to “knowingly or intentionally possess proceeds directly obtained from corrupt dealings with the Russian government.”
The proposal would also help direct proceeds from “forfeited funds related to corruption, sanctions and export control violations, and other specified offenses to remediate harms of Russian aggression toward Ukraine,” with the Justice Department, Treasury and State working together on these efforts. Earlier this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Biden administration would support legislation allowing for some of the proceeds from assets the DOJ seizes from Russian oligarchs “to go directly to Ukraine.”
The proposed package would allow for “forfeiture of property that Russian oligarchs can use to facilitate the evasion of sanctions,” a shift from the current US law which only allows for the US to forfeit the proceeds of sanctions violations. It also would categorize sanctions evasion as “racketeering activity,” extend the statute of limitations for pursuing money laundering prosecutions based on foreign offense from five to 10 years, and would enhance the US ability to work with allies and partners to recover assets linked to foreign corruption.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.