News 31 May 2019

Deripaska hits back at OFAC over designation memo

Representatives of Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who is currently challenging the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) designation of him, have published a ‘refutation’ of an OFAC memo justifying the sanctions. The memo had been secret, until a US court ordered its release.

Firstly, the rebuttal takes issue with the reasons given by OFAC for describing him as a ‘representative of the Russian state’, claiming that remarks upon which the Treasury had based their claim were taken out of context.

In addition, it says, ‘the second reason OFAC used as a basis for Mr. Deripaska’s designation is his alleged “operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation”. This is grossly misleading and once again suggests that the bureaucrats working for OFAC were either extremely poorly informed on the details of Mr. Deripaska’s business, or deliberately chose to ignore the fact that EN+ – a   company which Mr. Deripaska founded – is not an energy company (operating in the oil and gas sector), but rather an electrical utility business where power generation represents less than 20-25%.

‘This is directly stated in the company’s IPO prospectus, which OFAC has seen. Moreover, Mr. Deripaska didn’t manage EN+, he was an investor in this business – which is also clearly stated in the IPO prospectus.’


The heavily redacted memo is at: