U.S. Taxpayers Have Paid Almost $20M to Maintain Super Yacht Seized from Russian Oligarch


by Natalie Winters, The National Pulse:

The upkeep of a Russian oligarch’s super yacht seized by the United States government has cost American taxpayers almost $20 million. Belonging to Suleiman Kerimov, the $300 million super yacht was seized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Russian national as a suspected money launderer.

The Amadea, a 348-foot motor yacht, has cost the U.S. government around $600,000 a month to maintain. Payments to the crew cost roughly $360,000 a month, and fuel runs $75,000 a month. Other maintenance costs run an additional $165,000 a month. A $1.7 million annual insurance bill is also due this month. The mounting cost of upkeep has led the DOJ to ask a federal judge for permission to auction the vessel.

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Kerimov’s super yacht was seized in April of 2022 while docked in the Pacific island nation of Fiji. Local Fijian law enforcement, coordinating with the FBI, took control of the vessel after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia “…found that the Amadea [was] subject to forfeiture based on probable cause of violations of U.S. law.”

In addition to seizing the yacht, OFAC also blocked $1 billion controlled by the Delaware-based Heritage Trust, in which Kerimov has a controlling interest. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Russian oligarch used Heritage Trust as a conduit to launder funds into the United States. With those funds, Kerimov “invested in large public and private U.S. companies and managed by a series of U.S. investment firms and facilitators.”

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