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Russia Sanctions Crackdown Gets Dozens More Prosecutors

The Justice Department announced it is in the midst of a hiring spree to throw more prosecutorial resources at plugging holes in the West's economic pressure campaign against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reports. The DOJ is adding 25 new prosecutors to its counterintelligence and exports controls section, part of a broader ongoing effort to ensure that companies and other parties aren't helping Russia evade U.S. sanctions, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen said. The new prosecutors will work with corporations to investigate sanctions and export control evasion, and also bring criminal charges against companies when they commit violations, he said. Some of the additional prosecutors are new hires, while some are being reallocated from different sections, according to officials. “Corporations are on the front lines, often seeing these violations in the first instance,” Olsen said.

In the most recent move by the Justice Department's Task Force KleptoCapture, two American citizens were arrested in Kansas City on charges that they sent U.S. aviation technology to Russia, CNN reports. Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky, 59, and Douglas Robertson, 55, are facing several charges, including exporting controlled goods without a license, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and smuggling goods contrary to U.S. law. The two men’s U.S.-based KanRus Trading Company sold and installed Western electronic equipment for airplanes, according to prosecutors, and allegedly sold equipment to Russian companies and provided repair services for Russian aircrafts. To get around U.S. sanctions, prosecutors say Buyanovsky and Robertson concealed who their clients were, lied about how much products cost and were paid through foreign bank accounts. The task force's work by federal prosecutors, investigators and analysts has resulted already in more than 30 indictments against supporters of the Kremlin and Russian military who are accused of violating economic sanctions.


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