US DOJ Launches Sanctions Taskforce KleptoCapture

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has also announced the launch of Task Force KleptoCapture, which is “an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with allies and partners” (“Task Force KleptoCapture”). Task Force KleptoCapture will be run out of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and will be staffed with DOJ prosecutors, agents, analysts, and professional staff. Its mission includes the following:

  • Investigating and prosecuting violations of new and future sanctions imposed in response to “instances of Russian aggression and corruption”;
  • Combating “unlawful efforts to undermine restrictions taken against Russian financial institutions”;
  • Targeting efforts to “use cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions, launder proceeds of foreign corruption, or evade U.S. responses to Russian military aggression”; and
  • Using “civil and criminal asset forfeiture authorities to seize assets belonging to sanctioned individuals or assets identified as the proceeds of unlawful conduct.”

According to the DOJ, Task Force KleptoCapture “will be fully empowered to use the most cutting-edge investigative techniques — including data analytics, cryptocurrency tracing, foreign intelligence sources, and information from financial regulators and private sector partners — to identify sanctions evasion and related criminal misconduct.”

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