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DOJ Task Force KleptoCapture to Target Russian Oligarchs

Over the past week, the U.S., UK, and EU imposed sweeping sanctions rolled out by the US, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, outlined here. Also last week, the Department of Justice announced the launch of Task Force KleptoCapture to enforce these sanctions and seize assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and other criminal actors. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland made clear that the U.S. “will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war.”

Task Force KleptoCapture will target the crimes of Russian oligarchs and those who aid or conceal their unlawful conduct. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, whose office will oversee the Task Force, told financial institutions to be on high alert for oligarchs attempting to use the U.S. financial system to hide criminal proceeds and evade sanctions. She emphasized that financial institutions should ensure their customer compliance and anti-money laundering programs are finely tuned to these risks.  In line with the Department’s increased efforts to investigate and prosecute the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, Task Force KleptoCapture will also target efforts to use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions and launder proceeds of foreign corruption.

The Task Force will include individuals from across the Department and a number of government agencies who are experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, asset forfeiture, anti-money laundering, tax enforcement, national security investigations, and foreign evidence collection, and will be led by a veteran asset forfeiture and money laundering prosecutor from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.

In the coming days, we anticipate more developments in this area and will continue to update you accordingly.

© 2023 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 66

About this Author

 Seetha Ramachandran Proskauer New York, Trial Strategies White Collar Defense & Investigations Appellate,Financial Institutions, anti-money laundering AML, Bank Secrecy Act,

Seetha Ramachandran is a partner in the Litigation Department.

She is a leading expert in anti-money laundering (AML), Bank Secrecy Act, economic sanctions and asset forfeiture matters. She represents banks, broker dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds, online payment companies, and individual executives and officers, in high stakes and sensitive matters. Her practice focuses on white collar and regulatory enforcement defense, internal investigations, and compliance counseling. In addition to her subject matter expertise, Seetha is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer,...

Hena Vora Litigation Attorney

Hena Vora earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law, where she received the Pro Bono Publico honor and a Transactional Law Certificate. In addition, she was a national competitor on the Moot Court Society and served as president of Emory’s South Asian Law Students Association. While at Emory, she served as judicial intern for Judge Denny Chin at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, legal extern for General Electric and securities research assistant to Professor George Georgiev.

Prior to law school, Hena worked as a paralegal at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP...


Amy Gordon is an associate in the Litigation Department.