Remarks Preparing for delivery
Hello everyone. My name is Nicole Argentieri.
I am the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and am very pleased to formally welcome you to the 2023 Annual Meeting (AGM) of the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-agency Network. think.
While we were disappointed that we were unable to host AGM in the US due to logistical reasons, we would like to thank our Belgian organizers for providing us with a wonderful place to gather and collaborate over the next three days. I think.
It would not have been possible without your help and support.
As you know, the confiscation and recovery of assets is an integral part of the global fight against crime.
We all know that the motive of criminals is profit. Confiscation or confiscation of assets is an important tool we use to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains. In fact, the Department of Justice requires prosecutors to “utilize property forfeiture to investigate, identify, seize, and confiscate the assets of criminals and their organizations, while all property We have a long-standing policy of “seeking to ensure that the due process rights of owners are protected.” protected. ”
Asset recovery is also one of the key ways to provide compensation for crime victims.
These dual goals are evident in some of the US Department of Justice’s recent actions.
For example, last month, prosecutors in Arizona, California, and Idaho seized over $100 million in cryptocurrency, along with the Criminal Division’s National Crypto Enforcement Team (NCET). These funds were the proceeds of various cryptocurrency trust schemes that lured victims with promises of guaranteed investment returns.
In these schemes, victims sent money to scammers, who instead diverted their investments into cryptocurrency wallets controlled by criminals and their co-conspirators.
Victims in many of these cases were contacted shortly after the fraud occurred, so financial investigators and law enforcement were able to track down the money, seize these funds, and return them to the victims. I got
The US Department of Justice also uses asset confiscation tools in its fight against global aggression.
In March 2022, just days after Russia’s unilateral aggression against Ukraine, the ministry said it would use its tools and powers to further counteract efforts to circumvent or undermine U.S. sanctions related to the aggression. launched the Task Force KleptoCapture (TFKC) in
TFKC employs attorneys, agents, analysts, and others across the division who are experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, asset forfeiture, anti-money laundering, national security matters, and foreign evidence collection. Tailor experts.
One of TFKC’s primary objectives is to seize the assets of individuals and entities violating sanctions related to the Russian aggression. TFKC has already taken several steps to freeze and seize assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs and prosecute individuals for allegedly violating US sanctions and evading export controls.
For example, in May 2022, the ministry announced that Fiji law enforcement had frozen 348 luxury vessels, the motor yacht Amadea, owned by licensed Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, following a request for mutual legal assistance from the United States. announced that it had executed a seizure warrant. Our prosecutors, including the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, are responsible for the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Money Laundering and Conspiracy.
As another example, in September 2022, the State Department issued a sanctions evasion order against oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was sanctioned in April 2018 in response to the Russian government’s involvement in global malicious activities and the annexation of Crimea. and announced the opening of an indictment alleging other charges. Ukraine. The indictment also notifies the United States’ intention to confiscate the proceeds of Deripaska’s crimes. This includes proceeds from the sale of her three luxury properties in the United States and a music studio in California.
And last month, two metals traders were arrested in Orlando, Florida, accused of sanctions evasion and money laundering related to their dealings with affiliates of Sergei Kruchenko, who were sanctioned by the US in 2018 and by the EU in 2022. indicted for involvement. It acts on behalf of separatist groups operating in eastern Ukraine and provides material assistance.
Similar efforts are also underway across the European Union and around the world to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies to confiscate the illicit gains of criminals.
We also understand that the EU has proposed significant reforms to its asset recovery and forfeiture regime. This helps prosecutors and investigators identify, freeze, and confiscate criminal proceeds.
Europe’s current asset recovery regime is governed by a directive known as 2014/42/EU. Adopted in 2014, the Directive is a harmonized instrument covering both the freezing and confiscation of instruments and criminal proceeds.
recovery of criminal assets, as indicated by the June 2020 assessment by the European Commission of the 2014 Directive on Freezing and Confiscation of Means and Criminal Proceeds and the 2007 Council Decision on the Asset Recovery Office (ARO); There are still obstacles on the way to
We are pleased that in May 2022, the European Commission adopted this proposal to amend the 2014 Directive with a view to strengthening the EU’s asset recovery and forfeiture rules and strengthening the powers of the ARO. The Commission’s draft report was published on February 14, 2023.
Among other things, these revisions emphasize that asset tracking and identification is a necessary component of broader criminal investigations, and that the exchange of information between investigative agencies is voluntary on demand, thereby increasing asset recovery for crime prevention. make it clear that it greatly enhances the impact of and victim compensation.
While these legislative measures will make a big difference in the fight to deter criminal activity through confiscation or confiscation of illegal proceeds, we are committed to helping groups like CARIN build on our efforts in this area. It also depends on the relationship that was established.
This year’s working group focuses on best practices for asset recovery. Identify, seize or dispose of cryptocurrencies. Disposal of property after conviction. Victim compensation is designed to allow us all to learn from each other’s successes and failures and foster relationships that are expected to expand our future endeavors.
We thank you for your efforts in supporting the global effort to recover the proceeds of crime and look forward to hearing about your future successes.