The agency said on Friday that it had secured two account freezing orders in respect of five bank accounts held by Graham Bonham-Carter.
A spokesperson said: “The orders were obtained on the basis that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the money in the accounts was derived from the laundering of funds of an individual subject to sanctions in the United States, namely Oleg Deripaska. The accounts contain funds of a value totalling approximately £110,000. This is an ongoing investigation and we are not commenting further at this time.”
In 2018, the US treasury imposed sanctions on Deripaska in response to Russian activity including instigation of violence in eastern Ukraine, cyber-attacks and attempts to interfere in western elections.
It said Deripaska had acted “on behalf of … a senior Russian government official” – code for president Vladimir Putin – and had claimed to represent the Kremlin in other countries.
It added: “Deripaska has been investigated for money laundering, and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.”
The oligarch, whose wealth is currently estimated at $3bn (£2.3bn), according to Forbes magazine, denies the allegations and is taking legal action to challenge them.
Deripaska has made no secret of his support for Putin, previously declaring he has no interest separate from those of the Russian state and travelling on a Russian diplomatic passport. But he was one of the first leading Russian businessmen to speak out against the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, amid efforts by the international community to make Russia pay an economic price for the assault.
The Times reported that Westminster magistrates court was told on Friday that Bonham-Carter, the cousin of the actor Helena Bonham Carter, was linked to five properties in the US and the UK, of which Deripaska was the ultimate beneficial owner.
Among properties linked to Deripaska are Hamstone House, a Grade II listed five-bedroom property in Surrey, built in 1937, with a basement and 8 acres of grounds. In 2020, it was advertised for sale for £16m, according to Tatler. Others are a Washington mansion and a three-story townhouse, on Gay Street, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighbourhood, valued at $14.7m (£11.1m).
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