Veteran U.S. prosecutor to lead task force probing Russian oligarchs


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Andrew Adams, a veteran federal prosecutor in New York City who has expertise dealing with circumstances involving Russian organized crime teams, will lead the Justice Department’s new task force aimed toward Russian oligarchs, Attorney General Merrick Garland mentioned on Thursday.

“Together with our federal and worldwide companions, we are going to depart no stone unturned in our efforts to examine, arrest and prosecute these whose legal acts allow the Russian authorities to proceed its unjust battle towards Ukraine,” Garland mentioned in remarks to the American Bar Institute’s National Institute on White Collar Crime.

Garland’s announcement got here someday after he unveiled the main points concerning the new task force often known as “KleptoCapture,” tasked with investigating and prosecuting sanctions violations. It will even search civil and legal forfeitures to seize belongings obtained via illegal conduct.

The task force identify references the phrase “kleptocracy”: a society whose leaders misuse their powers to accumulate wealth on the expense of these they govern.

The task force, to be run out of Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s workplace, shall be headed by Adams, who joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in 2013 and has served as lead prosecutor on a number of outstanding asset forfeiture and arranged crime circumstances.

In 2015, Adams led a crew that efficiently recovered a uncommon Stradivarius violin that was stolen in 1980. In 2018, he led the prosecution of Razhden Shulaya, accused of operating a Russian crime syndicate that bought stolen jewellery; rigged slot machines at casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas; and ran underground poker video games in Brooklyn.

Shulaya, described as a Russian “vor v zakone”, or “thief-in-law”, was convicted at his racketeering trial and sentenced to 45 years in jail.

In late 2018, Adams grew to become co-chief of the workplace’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises unit, in accordance to his LinkedIn profile.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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