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U.S. charges Ukrainian lawmaker with money laundering

The U.S. charged Ukrainian lawmaker and alleged Russian intelligence asset Andrii Derkach with bank fraud and money laundering Wednesday. Photo by Petro Zhuvarel/Wikimedia Commons
The U.S. charged Ukrainian lawmaker and alleged Russian intelligence asset Andrii Derkach with bank fraud and money laundering Wednesday. Photo by Petro Zhuvarel/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The Justice Department accused Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician, of money laundering and bank fraud Wednesday.

Derkach, whom the U.S. has alleged to be a Russian spy, was accused of secretly purchasing and maintaining two condos in Beverly Hills, even though he was sanctioned last year, the Justice Department.

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Derkach's whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be in Russia, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

"The conduct of this Kremlin asset, who was sanctioned for trying to poison our democracy, has shown he is ready, willing and capable of exploiting our banking system in order to advance his illicit goals," Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

Derkach and his wife, Oksana Terekhova, allegedly devised a scheme to purchase the condos in 2013. He wired $3.2 million from companies in the British Virgin Islands to limited liability corporations in California that owned the properties.

Derkach also invested $800,000 into a brokerage account to pay for maintenance of the properties.

In September 2020, the Treasury Department announced sanctions on Derkach for interfering the 2020 Presidential Election. Derkach met twice with former President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was seeking to get dirt on President Joe Biden.

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In June, Ukrainian authorities said they had uncovered a Russian spy network involving Derkach. The authorities alleged that Derkach set up a network of private security firms to help facilitate the entry of Russian units into cities during Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion.

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