The US Treasury Department blocked the assets of the Intrater company Columbus Nova worth more than $ 250 million after it included the cousin of Intrater Viktor Vekselberg F 11 in the sanctions list in April 2018, writes The New York Times. Intrater intends to challenge this and filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan. As defendants, he demanded that the US Department of Finance, its head Stephen Mnuchin, and the American Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), who imposed sanctions on the billionaire, be attracted.
The US Treasury Department for the NYT's request for comment redirected the request to the Justice Department. This agency declined to comment on the newspaper.
Of the blocked $ 250 million, one fifth is in cash, a large proportion of which belongs to Vekselberg, but not less than $ 12 million - to Intratra itself, the NYT notes. The newspaper calls Vekselberg "Intrater's largest investor" company. The US Treasury Department in August 2018 reported that Columbus Nova "manages the assets of Vekselberg and called Renova its largest client."
Intrater accused the defendants of violating the fourth amendment to the US Constitution. It guarantees every American the right to protect individuals, homes, papers and property from unreasonable searches and arrest. Intrater is confident that the sanctions policy of the US Treasury has led to an unjustified seizure of its property. "I’m fighting not only to protect my interests and the interests of my partners, but also for the constitutional right of every American to keep the government’s hands away from their property," the NYTT Intrater quotes.
Vekselberg's cousin intends to challenge the so-called 50% rule, which is guided by the US Treasury. It means that restrictions are imposed on those companies whose share in a person is at least 50% under sanctions. Under this rule, Columbus Nova could claim special licenses to work, but out of more than 10 attempts, only two were received. In this case, the US Treasury still did not allow the company to make a profit. Intrater is confident that the 50% rule is unconstitutional, since it does not set the time within which the US Treasury Department must respond to a request for a license, and the criteria for which applications are considered.
Intrater said that the sanctions against Vekselberg had an effect on his business reputation: “There are people with whom I have been working for almost 20 years, and they were suddenly afraid to deal with me,” the businessman said. He added that he was interrogated by a group of US special prosecutor Robert Muller, who was conducting an investigation into Russia's interference in the American elections in 2016. In the final edited version of the report there is no information about Intrater.