March 15 (UPI) -- A Russian oligarch and ally of Vladimir Putin is suing the U.S. Treasury Department, claiming sanctions have devastated his wealth, reputation and economic livelihood.
Businessman Oleg Deripaska wants the sanctions lifted off of him, saying in a court filing that his net worth has plummeted $7.5 billion, or 81 percent, under the sanctions. He also asks that the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control remove the label of "oligarch" and open its records to him.
The Treasury office added him to the sanctions list in April 2018 for allegedly acting on behalf of "a senior official in the Government of the Russian Federation" and for his operation in the Russian energy sector.
"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," said a Treasury news release at the time. "There are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group."
The Treasury sanctioned Deripaska and all the businesses that he owns. He made his fortune in the metals industry. Trump lifted the sanctions on the businesses in January with the understanding that businesses will be transparent with the United States. The personal sanctions on Deripaska remain, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement in January.
Deripaska said he's a victim of U.S. "political infighting and ongoing reaction to Russia's purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections."
His lawsuit goes on to say that he's been shut out from global commerce.
"Indeed, banks and businesses have terminated existing contracts and agreements with him, and businesses refuse to enter into any further dealings with him out of fear of exposure to U.S. sanctions," the lawsuit reads.