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Attorney General Merrick Garland, center, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, right, speaks during a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, to discuss new and recent enforcement actions aimed at disrupting and prosecuting Russian criminal activity. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it has charged a Russian oligarch with sanctions violations and that officials have busted a cybercrime operation controlled by a Russian military intelligence agency.
The case against Konstantin Malofeyev accuses him of trying to evade previous Treasury Department sanctions by seeking to covertly acquire media organizations across Europe. Officials have also seized millions of dollars that they say are attributable to sanctions violations.
The announcement comes two days after US officials seized a yacht in Spain belonging to a Russian oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Last year, the Justice Department took aim at Russia-based cybercrime, recovering most of a multimillion-dollar ransom Colonial Pipeline paid to hackers in June after a ransomware attack halted operations and announced charges last fall against two alleged ransomware operators.