Feds move to seize Russian billionaire’s $90 million private jet

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Federal prosecutors obtained a warrant to seize a $90 million plane owned by Russian billionaire and politician Andrei Skoch, who has been subject to sanctions since 2018.

Schoch’s net worth has been pegged by Forbes at $6.2 billion, according to the warrant, and is the beneficial owner of the Airbus A319-100 through multiple shell companies with his romantic partners.

The Treasury Department originally sanctioned him in April 2018 because of his “longstanding ties to Russian organized crime groups, including time leading one such enterprise.”

A judge authorized a warrant to seize Russian billionaire Andrei Skoch’s $90 million Airbus A319-100.
(US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York)

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions for “support.[ing] The Kremlin’s efforts to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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Schoch owns a significant stake in USM Holdings Ltd., a Russian company with assets in the metals, mining and telecom industries, according to the warrant.

“Today’s action shows that the U.S. government will not relent in our efforts to bring to justice those who enable Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine,” said Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod said in a statement Monday.

Schoch also owns a 324-foot, $156 million yacht that has been flagged as restricted property by the Treasury Department.

The Task Force Kleptocapture, the Justice Department’s interagency operation to enforce sweeping sanctions against the Russian economy and officials close to the Kremlin in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, led the investigation.

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“The sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and the work of this task force are not invulnerable to these aggressive wealthy oligarchs who support Russia’s military aggression, and we are dramatically affecting their way of life,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge. Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement.

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