U.S. Treasury Will Pay Tipsters Who Help Lead to Seizure of Russian Assets

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.

"We are already working with our international partners to freeze and seize properties belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarchs worldwide," Garland said in the statement. "We will continue to work together to take all appropriate actions against those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war against Ukraine."

The amount given for certain information depends on "whether the information was previously known to investigating agencies, the risk assumed by the informant, and the significance of the information" in leading to the seizure of the assets, the Treasury said.

Anyone with information related to such assets is encouraged to contact the Treasury or email Kleptocracy_Rewards@Treasury.gov. The Treasury also said that information provided to the program is provided under penalty of perjury, and false information will be referred to law enforcement for possible prosecution.

Update 3/16/22, 4:20 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.

Treasury Russian Assets Billionaires Seizure Rewards
The Treasury will provide financial rewards to those who provide information that leads to the seizure of Russian assets as part of sanctions levied against the nation for its invasion of Ukraine. Above, a statue of Albert Gallatin, a former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, stands in front of The Treasury Building in Washington, D.C. Robert Alexander/Getty Images