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Russian embassy remains in contact with Russian national charged with fraud in US

The Russian Embassy in Washington said that Russian diplomats "will continue to provide consular and legal assistance" to Oleg Nikitin
The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC Anatoly Bochinin/TASS
The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC
© Anatoly Bochinin/TASS

NEW YORK, December 3. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in the United States remains in communication with Russian national Oleg Nikitin who is accused of attempting to circumvent US sanctions imposed on Russia's supplies of oil and gas equipment.

"The embassy's diplomats remain in communication with O.V. Nikitin who is held at a jail in the state of Georgia on charges of 'fraud and money laundering'," the Russian Embassy said in a statement published on its official Facebook account on Tuesday.

"The Russian national pleads not guilty. Since the Russian national was arrested by the local authorities in September, we also remain in regular contact with his relatives and his lawyer," the embassy added.

Russian diplomats "will continue to provide consular and legal assistance to the compatriot," the embassy noted.

The press service of the US Department of Justice reported earlier on Tuesday that the indictment "charges Oleg Vladislavovich Nikitin; Nikitin's Russian-based company KS Engineering (KSE); KSE employee Anton Cheremukhin; Gabriele Villone; Villone's Italian-based company GVA International Oil and Gas Services (GVA); and GVA employee Bruno Caparini, with violating and conspiring to violate IEEPA/ECRA [International Emergency Economic Powers Act/Export Control Reform Act of 2018]." Moreover, "Dali Bagrou, and Bagrou's U.S.-based company World Mining and Oil Supply (WMO) are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering," the press service said adding that "Nikitin, Villone, and Bagrou were all arrested in Savannah, Ga., while attempting to complete the illegal transaction and are awaiting trial."

The US Department of Justice said that "Nikitin, Cheremukhin, Villone and Caparini face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the charge of violating IEEPA/ECRA and a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to violate IEEPA/ECRA and to defraud the United States.".