Two Florida men have been arrested in a scheme to launder funds for the fugitive "Gas King of Ukraine," through a Florida metals service center. Orlando-based Metalhouse LLC's President John Can Unsalan, and Sergey Karpushkin, a Belarusian citizen from Miami, were indicted and arrested for engaging in a $150 million scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarch Sergey Kurchenko and his two companies.
Unsalan allegedly transferred over $150 million to Kurchenko and the associated companies between July 2018 and October 2021, receiving metal products used in steelmaking in return.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated that the arrests should act as a warning to others seeking to do business with sanctioned parties, and that the Justice Department will continue to pursue those who attempt to evade sanctions.
Kurchenko was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2015 for his role in misappropriating Ukrainian state assets. His companies, Kompaniya Gaz-Alyans and ZAO Vneshtorgservis, were designated by OFAC in 2018 for providing material support to the separatist-controlled Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.
Karpushkin and Unsalan both face charges under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and, if convicted, could face up to 20 years in federal prison for each count.
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