Sanctioned Russian Banker Dumps £15m in UK Crypto Firm Shares

Russian banker Mikhail Klyukin, under U.S. sanctions, sells £15m in Copper Technologies shares, raising legal questions about cryptocurrency transactions and sanctions evasion.

Sanctioned Russian banker Mikhail Klyukin recently divested over £15m in shares from UK-based cryptocurrency firm Copper Technologies. This move has stirred legal debates surrounding the transparency of cryptocurrency transactions, particularly concerning potential sanctions evasion. Klyukin, previously sanctioned by the U.S. for his ties to Sovcombank, engaged in the transaction via Copper Technologies, which acted as an intermediary, converting the payment from the buyer into cryptocurrency.

Experts have raised concerns about the legality of this transaction, given the stringent U.S. sanctions. Despite the U.S. prohibiting financial dealings in dollars or involving American citizens with sanctioned individuals, this transaction utilized non-U.S. currency and non-American entities, existing in a legal gray area. The involvement of cryptocurrency further complicates matters, potentially violating an executive order by President Joe Biden that prohibits deceptive transactions to evade sanctions, including those involving digital currencies.

Legal analysts suggest that this transaction might attract “secondary” sanctions from the U.S., targeting entities indirectly aiding sanctioned individuals. This incident underscores the challenges and complexities in enforcing sanctions in the digital realm.

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