Treasury sanctions Russian money man, targets private plane, yacht on election interference

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Russian financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin on Monday for his connection to the Internet Research Agency that tried to interfere in the U.S. 2018 midterm elections.

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"Treasury is targeting the private planes, yacht, and associated front companies of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the Russian financier behind the Internet Research Agency and its attempts to subvert American democratic processes," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy, and we will use our authorities against anyone seeking to undermine our processes and subversively influence voters."

M-VITO: One of Prigozhin’s private jets. Between 2017 and 2018, M-VITO conducted numerous flights throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe Anna Zvereva/Flickr

St Vitamin: Prigozhin’s Yacht

Prigozhin uses Beratex Group Limited, an entity registered in the Seychelles, to own and operate his private jet, according to the Treasury. He finances the Internet Research Agency, which is named in the Mueller report as a Russian organization seeking to sow discord in the U.S.

The Treasury also sanctioned six individuals associated with the Internet Research Agency.

"While today's action only targets Russian actors, the U.S. Government is safeguarding our democratic processes from adversaries — primarily Russia, Iran, and China — that may be seeking to influence the upcoming 2020 elections," the Treasury said.

Treasury said the action is the first imposition of sanctions under an executive order signed by President Trump in September 2018 to deter foreign actors from interfering in U.S. elections.