Russian oligarchs Arkady and Boris Rotenberg tried to bypass the US sanctions imposed on them by using the art market. This is stated in a report presented on Wednesday by members of the standing subcommittee on investigations of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs.
The report, which summarizes the two-year investigation, says the US art market is not regulated by anti-money laundering laws. As a result, multimillion-dollar deals in this area can be carried out in the interests of people who were previously included in the sanctions list.
According to the authors of the report, such transactions were carried out in the interests of the Rothenberg companies by the Moscow art consultant, US citizen Grigory Baltser.
According to the senators, from May to November 2014, that is, after the inclusion of Arkady and Boris Rotenberg in the US sanctions list, Balzer allegedly purchased works of art for a total of $ 18 million with money from companies connected with businessmen, including a painting by Rene Magritte La Poitrine worth $ 7.5 million.
Senators believe that the companies associated with the oligarchs have completed transactions worth more than $ 91 million after the imposition of sanctions. Also, almost $ 122 million was withdrawn to Russia between March 16 and March 20, 2014.
On March 20, 2014, as a result of the annexation of Crimea to Russia, US President Barack Obama signed a decree according to which his government imposed sanctions on the Rotenberg brothers.