Russian oligarch’s NYC property manager faces 60 years in prison

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it had arrested a British national recruited by Russian oligarch Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska to manage his New York properties.

Graham Bonham-Carter has worked for Deripaska since 2003 which has included managing properties in the UK and Europe.

Deripaska is the billionaire founder of aluminum giant Rusal with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Bonham-Carter is a member of the politically connected family that includes English actress Helena Bonham-Carter.

In 2018, Graham Bonham-Carter, 62, was ordered to set up new businesses for Deripaska after sanctions were imposed on “any person found by the US Treasury Department to be responsible for, or complicit in, any act or policy that violates security, sovereignty or the territory threatened integrity of Ukraine.”

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US officials put Deripaska on a sanctions list in 2018 for his alleged involvement in murder, money laundering, bribery and extortion.

At that point, Deripaska had owned three residential properties in the United States, two in New York City and one in Washington, D.C., according to the DOJ, which he bought between 2005 and 2008.

“Times are a bit tough for my boss with US sanctions hitting him, so not the best time,” Bonham-Carter said in a June 18, 2018 email drafted by the DOJ.

On Oct. 13, 2021, Bonham-Carter wrote, “It[’]All good except banks keep closing me down because of my affiliation with my boss Oleg Deripaska…. I was even advised not to go to the US where Oleg still has personal sanctions as the authorities would no doubt side with me and the questioning could take hours or even days!!”

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According to the DOJ, Bonham-Carter was “involved in over $1 million in illegal transactions to fund real estate in the United States for the benefit of Deripaska.”

Those properties include townhouses in Lenox Hill and West Village, which Deripaska bought for nearly $50 million, and an 11,600-square-foot mansion in DC

He transferred the properties to relatives after being banned from the United States.

The FBI raided the home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Washington, DC last October.
The FBI raided the home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Washington, DC last October.
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Despite Bonham-Carter inheriting his boss’s fortune, more than $15,000 has accrued in interest on $175,000 due in 2022, according to the city’s Treasury Department.

In all, he faces three offenses – two related to sanctions violations and one charge of wire fraud. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The DOJ also accused Bonham-Carter of lying to an auction house after he tried to move an artwork by Deripaska from New York to London.

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The government will seek to extradite Bonham-Carter, who appeared in a London courtroom on Tuesday, to the United States.

The crackdown on Russian oligarchs who own luxury properties in New York has intensified over the past year as the war between Russia and Ukraine escalates.

“For years, Manhattan has been one of the favorite safe havens for Russian oligarchs to park their money, particularly via ultra-high-end apartments,” said Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President tweeted in February. “It’s time to confiscate their property.”


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