Roman Abramovich: FBI allege 'transfer of assets worth millions' before government sanctions
Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is alleged to have transferred hundreds of millions of pounds worth of assets to his children in secret before being hit by sanctions from the UK government.
The measures were imposed on the oligarch back in March following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine - a result of his close ties with Moscow and president Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale shortly before the sanctions were announced, and the club has since been sold to a consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly.
Authorities in the US have now claimed that Abramovich secretly transferred assets worth hundreds of millions of pounds to his children days before he was hit with the sanctions - including a £282m Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet and various super yachts.
The Russian-Israeli allegedly did so by making an unknown number of his seven children beneficiaries of an offshore trust in Cyprus, Europa Settlement Trust, which the FBI believes owns the aircraft.
The FBI are carrying out an investigation into Abramovich's assets as they want to seize two of his planes due to alleged export violations connected to the conflict in Ukraine.
An affidavit filed by FBI special agent Alan Fowler (as quoted by The Times) states: “Based on my review of the records, I believe that in or about February 2022, Abramovich reorganised the ownership of his assets, including by making his children (all of whom are Russian nationals) the beneficiaries of the Europa Trust.”
Another target for the US authorities is a £49m Gulfstream jet after its ownership was connected to the Europa Trust by the FBI.