The increasing number of American citizens facing sanctions from Russia includes several prominent figures from the crypto industry.
On May 19, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced measures to prevent Americans from traveling to Russia in response to the escalating conflict with the US. These measures were seen as a countermove to the US Treasury’s recent sanctions, which aimed to undermine Russia’s ability to continue the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s list of sanctioned individuals includes well-known crypto industry personalities alongside figures like former President Barack Obama, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert.
BJ Kang, previously an FBI agent known for his involvement in high-profile securities fraud investigations, including the Bernie Madoff trial and the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading case, found himself at number 147 on Russia’s banned list.
In October 2022, Kang joined Binance.US, which generated significant interest in the cryptocurrency industry. Despite no longer being an active FBI agent, Russia still identified Kang as a current agent.
Gurbir Grewal, the former SEC Enforcement Director, has pursued legal action against Russian citizens in the past and has been involved in investigations related to digital assets. In December 2021, the SEC charged five Russians for hacking into computer systems to gain access to non-public corporate information.
READ MORE: First Republic Bank Purchase to Propel JPMorgan’s Net Income Up by $3 Billion
Vladislav Klyushin, one of the co-conspirators, was arrested and convicted in February, facing a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Letitia James, the New York Attorney General, has been actively involved in investigating and prosecuting various crypto industry companies. Her office recently reached a $4.3 million settlement with Coin Cafe, which admitted to fraudulent fee collection from users.
James also sparked a regulatory debate by classifying ether as a security during a lawsuit against KuCoin.
Jared Bernstein, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, assumed his role in February 2023 and ranked 32nd on Russia’s sanctions list. While Bernstein has recognized the potential of blockchain technology, he has also highlighted the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, emphasizing the need for adequate safeguards and regulations.
Under Bernstein’s leadership, the CEA proposed the Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) tax, which seeks to impose a 30% tax on the electricity used by crypto miners.
Read the full article here