US DOJ Charges 5 Russians And 2 Americans With Conspiring To Smuggle Military Material To Russia

According to an indictment that was just recently made public by the United States Department of Justice, seven people from Russia and two people from the United States have been charged with conspiracy to violate United States sanctions by smuggling equipment made in the United States to the Russian armed forces.

According to the 16-count indictment, the defendants were associated with two Moscow companies that collaborated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to purchase and smuggle sanctioned items from the United States to the Russian military. These items included semiconductors and other electronic equipment. The transactions were carried out in violation of US law.

According to the indictment, the seven defendants, Yevgeniy Grinin, Aleksey Ippolitov, Boris Livshits, Svetlana Skvortsova, Vadim Konoshchenok, Alexey Brayman, and Vadim Yermolenko, “illegally sourced, purchased, and shipped millions of dollars in military and sensitive dual-use technologies from US manufacturers and vendors located in the Eastern District of New York and

In a statement released on Tuesday, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, stated that the defendants “perpetrated a sophisticated procurement network that illegally obtained sensitive U.S. technology to facilitate the Russian war machine.” According to the allegations, the defendants were responsible for the network. “Our Office will not let up in its aggressive pursuit of individuals who illegally acquire United States technology to be utilized in furtherance of Russia’s horrific war on democracy.”

According to the indictment, Russian nationals Grinin and Skvortsova would receive requests from another Russian national named Ippolitov for sanctioned commodities from the United States. Ippolito was also a Russian national.

US DOJ Charges 5 Russians And 2 Americans With Conspiring To Smuggle Military Material To Russia
US DOJ Charges 5 Russians And 2 Americans With Conspiring To Smuggle Military Material To Russia

According to the indictment, Grinin and Skvortsova would allegedly be responsible for mapping out shipping routes, while Livshits would use shell companies and US bank accounts to purchase the items from US companies. Grinin and Skvortsova are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the Justice Department, Grinin, Skvortsova, Ippolitov, and Livshits are still at large, while Brayman, who is a permanent resident in the United States, Yermolenko, who is a citizen of the United States, and Konoshchenok, who is a national of Russia, are in jail.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Brayman and Yermolenko, who were both based in the United States, would reportedly “fabricate shipping paperwork and invoices” to transport products all over the world before finally sending them to Russia.

According to the allegations, Konoshchenok, who the Justice Department believes to be an official with the FSB, was one of the people who helped them carry contraband. The individual who is believed to be an FSB official was detained in Estonia the week before last after reportedly attempting to import twenty cases of sniper rifle ammunition made in the United States into Russia at the end of November.

The indictment states that Konoshchenok was detained by police at the Estonian border with thousands of additional bullets made in the United States as well as “semiconductors and other electronic components,” some of which were under the control of the United States government “for reasons of anti-terrorism.”

According to the Justice Department, Estonian law police seized 375 pounds of ammunition made in the United States after searching for a warehouse that was believed to have been utilized by Konoshchenok. According to officials from the United States, the legal process to extradite Konoshchenok to the United States will start very soon.  On Tuesday, both Brayman and Yermolenko, who are citizens of the United States, are expected to appear in federal court to face their charges.

David Lazarus, Brayman’s attorney, told CNN that his client has only been charged at this point; he has not been convicted of anything. “At this stage, Mr. Brayman has merely been charged,” Lazarus said. The presumption of innocence extends to Mr. Brayman, just as it does to every other defendant in this case.

On the public docket, there was no mention of Yermolenko’s legal representation. According to the information provided by the Justice Department, the maximum possible penalty for the accused is thirty years in prison if they are found guilty.

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