FBI agents raided the home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Washington, DC on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed to NBC News.
The reason for their presence was not immediately clear. The spokesperson said the agency was carrying out “home law enforcement activities” but did not give details.
The investigation is being conducted by federal investigators in New York, according to two officials briefed on the matter.
A spokeswoman for Deripaska, a billionaire oil tycoon who was placed under U.S. sanctions three years ago, said the FBI also raided a house in New York City. She said both properties belong to Deripaska’s parents.
“The searches are carried out on the basis of two court decisions, linked to US sanctions,” the spokeswoman said. “The houses do not belong to Mr. Deripaska.”
Deripaska’s lawyers did not immediately return requests for comment. Asked about the spokesperson’s claim that the investigation is related to sanctions, the FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.
The 11,000 square foot home sits on one of Washington’s most exclusive blocks.
Next door neighbor George Conway, the husband of Donald Trump’s former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, came to the house on Tuesday afternoon to take a photo of law enforcement activity. Conway said he had never seen Deripaska at home.
Deripaska, who is a longtime associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was among two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials who were sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April 2018.
A press release announcing the sanctions said Deripaska had been investigated for money laundering and charged with “threatening the lives of business competitors, illegally wiretapping a government official and for participating in extortion and racketeering “.
He sued the United States for the sanctions, but a federal court judge dismissed the case in June. Deripaska has appealed the decision.
NBC News reported in January 2018 that the Russian tycoon has been repeatedly denied a visa to enter the United States due to his alleged links to organized crime.
Jonathan dienst and Keir simmons contributed.