As part of an international task force officially announced by several countries Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury said it will establish a rewards program for people who provide information that leads to “seizure, restraint, or forfeiture of assets linked to foreign government corruption, including the Government of the Russian Federation.”
The announcement of the rewards program came as part of the introduction of the Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force, which comes as part of the sanctions levied against Russian businesses and individuals for its invasion of Ukraine.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland met virtually Wednesday with representatives from other nations that are part of the task force, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, the U.K. and the European Commission.
Property of several Russian businesses and oligarchs has been seized across the globe as many countries have announced sanctions meant to impact the Russian economy in the weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
Wednesday’s announcement from the Treasury states that the U.S. government and other partners from across the globe have already seized “hundreds of millions of dollars” worth of property.
“Our sanctions, trade restrictions, and other measures have already imposed significant costs on Russia, its leadership, and those who enabled Putin’s unprovoked invasion into Ukraine,” Yellen said in the statement. “This multilateral task force will raise those costs even more, by galvanizing coordinated efforts to freeze and seize assets of these individuals in jurisdictions around the world and deny safe haven for their ill-gotten gains.”
The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program is the newest part of the task force announced Wednesday and authorizes the Treasury to offer up to $5 million in rewards for information that leads to the seizure or repatriation of “stolen assets” or assets linked to “foreign government corruption.”
The Treasury has also released the names of 28 individuals who have been sanctioned by multiple countries, including the U.S., the property of which has been deemed a priority.