The citizen of Russia Oleg Nikitin was arrested on charges of financial fraud, the same charges filed against Russian citizen Anton Cheremukhin, two Italians and a US citizen. The arrest was made in September of this year, but the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation all this time, for whatever reason, did not read this information.
According to the U.S. Department of justice, Oleg Nikitin, who, according to the indictment, was owned in the Russian company KS Engineering (KSE), is suspected of conspiracy to commit money laundering, financial fraud and attempting to circumvent existing trade restrictions.
According to the Ministry of justice, Nikitin and two other defendants (the Italian citizens) were arrested in Savannah (GA) and are awaiting trial.
According to the indictment, a company controlled by the Russian government signed a contract with Nikitin and his companies, OOO “KS-Engineering” for the purchase of power turbine Vectra 40G from the U.S. manufacturer for about $17.3 million In the case there is evidence of the intention of Russian companies to use the turbine Vectra on Russian deep-water drilling platform in the Arctic.
In the indictment it is alleged that Nikitin and cheryomukhin of “x-Engineering” hired Italian company GVA owned by Gabriel Villon to bypass us sanctions to purchase Vectra turbine on their behalf. Then GVA across American have Given Bagrow and his company World Mining and Oil Supply (WMO) has purchased the turbine Vectra from the American manufacturer. Sending cargo abroad, the parties agreed to conceal from the American government the final recipient of the turbine, by providing false documentation, which stated that the Vectra comes for an American company in Atlanta.
However, for reasons of national security, the Commerce Department previously prohibited any unlicensed supply or transfer of the turbines to Russian companies.
The Russians may now face up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $ 1 million for violation of the provisions of the Law on economic authority in the event of international emergencies (International Emergency Economic Powers Act, IEEPA) and the Law on the reform of the export control 2018 (Export Control Reform Act of 2018).
The law IEEPA allows Washington to control or prohibit virtually any economic transaction with the property of “threatening”, according to the White house, foreign governments and to freeze the accounts and seize assets, etc.
As stated by the assistant US attorney General for national security John Demers, the accusations against the Russians “to demonstrate the high priority that the Ministry of justice attaches to American restrictions on the export of oil and gas industry of Russia”. “The U.S. government introduced these restrictions after accession of Crimea to Russia and military actions of the Russian Federation in the East of Ukraine. Russia continues to undermine democratic processes and institutions in the region that adversely affects U.S. national security”, – said the assistant attorney General.
According to the Prosecutor, Christine Lagarde, “the defendants tried to deceive the United States by evading the sanctions imposed in order for American goods fell into the hands of dangerous persons.”
In connection with the allegations, acting assistant Secretary for export policy Douglas Hassebrock noted that “the identification and prosecution of those who enter into conspiracy to commit the illegal export of American goods to countries that imposed sanctions, remains a top priority for the Bureau of industry and security. We are determined to bring to justice those who deliberately decided to threaten the security of the United States” (Bureau of industry and security Agency of the Ministry of trade of the USA which deals with issues of national security and high technology).
Embassy of the Russian Federation said that he knew about the arrest back in September
The Russian Embassy in the United States shortly after the official reports of the US Department of justice about the arrest of a Russian citizen reported that is in touch with Oleg Nikitin, who is charged with attempting to circumvent the imposed by the US sanctions against Russia for supplies of oil and gas equipment.
According to the statement of the Russian diplomatic mission, published on its page in Facebook, “the diplomats of the Embassy are in contact with O. V. Nikitin, detained in the detention center of the state of Georgia on charges of fraud and money laundering. A Russian citizen does not recognize his guilt. Since the arrest of the Russian local authorities in September also support the constant contact with his relatives and lawyer.”
The report notes that Russian diplomats “will continue to provide national necessary consular and legal assistance”.
Recall that for violation of the Law about economic powers in case of international emergencies (IEEPA) in the past year, the United States has already indicted five Russians – employees of the Russian transport and logistics company “Sovfracht” for unlawful delivery of aviation fuel to Syria in circumvention of the American sanctions.