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US citizen charged with violating Crimea-related sanctions

U.S. Department of Justice building
Posted at 4:12 PM, Mar 03, 2022

Federal prosecutors have announced the arrest in London of a U.S. citizen for his work as a television producer for a Russian Oligarch tied to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Thursday that the February arrest of 71-year-old John Hanick came from the first-ever criminal indictment in New York charging a violation of U.S. sanctions resulting from Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. Williams said Hanick had worked for years for Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev. U.S. sanctions on Malofeyev ban U.S. citizens from working for or doing business with Malofeyev.

In a statement, Williams said, “Konstantin Malofeyev is closely tied to Russian aggression in Ukraine, having been determined by OFAC to have been one of the main sources of financing for the promotion of Russia-aligned separatist groups operating in the sovereign nation of Ukraine.”

“The U.S. sanctions on Malofeyev prohibit U.S. citizens from working for or doing business with Malofeyev but as alleged, Hanick violated those sanctions by working directly for Malofeyev on multiple television projects over the course of several years. The indictment unsealed today shows this office’s commitment to the enforcement of laws intended to hamstring those who would use their wealth to undermine fundamental democratic processes. This office will continue to be a leader in the Justice Department’s work to hold accountable actors who would support flagrant and unjustified acts of war,” he wrote.