Government program to offer $5Million for information on Russian oligarchs’ assets in U.S.


The Treasury Department is offering Americans huge awards amounting to up to five million dollars if they provide information of U.S. assets that belong to Russian oligarchs, through a government program. The assets can include yachts, private jets, mansions, investments, jewelry, art and other luxury goods.

The program is called the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program. Rewards will be given if the information provided by Americans leads to the restraint or seizure of these assets. It will also be awarded if there is forfeiture or reparation of stolen assets to an account that is present at a US financial institution, or if the asset enters the U.S. or if it is under the possession or control of a US person.

Americans need not only report physical assets to get rewards. Financial holdings under the name of oligarchs whom the U.S. government believes are aiding the Russians who have invaded Ukraine, can also be reported, if they are held in the nation.

The website of the Treasury Department states that it is looking for assets that are “linked to corruption involving the government of the Russian federation.” The program was approved last year by Congress and also applies to assets linked to corruption by other foreign governments.

A committee set up by the Treasury Department will consider the eligibility of the reward on a “case-to-case” basis. The reward has to be finalized and approved by Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary.

Russian oligarchs, organizations and other individuals have already faced sanctions from the U.S. government, the U.K. government and the European Union. Several yachts and have been seized while others have fled to international waters or to countries that have not imposed sanctions.

However, there is a huge amount of hidden wealth not only stashed away through off shore or private transfers by Russian oligarchs but also by dictators, presidents and heads of countries whom the U.S. has relations with and rich individuals from all over the world, who have used legal loopholes present in some states to park their ill gotten gains in the nation.

(Photo: Lightspring)

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