Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Department of Justice

Russian Military and Intelligence Agencies Procurement Network Indicted in Brooklyn Federal Court


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Charges in Connection with Task Force KleptoCapture’s Mission to Hold Accountable Corrupt Russian Oligarchs and Enforce Robust Export Restrictions

Publicly filed court documents, including a 16-count indictment unsealed today in Brooklyn, charge five Russian nationals – including a suspected Federal Security Service (FSB) officer – and two U.S. nationals with conspiracy and other charges related to a global procurement and money laundering scheme on behalf of the Russian government in which the defendants allegedly conspired to obtain military-grade and dual-use technologies from U.S. companies for Russia’s defense sector, and to smuggle sniper rifle ammunition, in violation of new U.S. sanctions imposed earlier this year.

Yevgeniy Grinin, 44, of Moscow; Aleksey Ippolitov, 57, of Moscow; Boris Livshits, 52, of St. Petersburg; Svetlana Skvortsova, 41, of Moscow; Vadim Konoshchenok, 48, of St. Petersburg; Alexey Brayman, 35, of New Hampshire; and Vadim Yermolenko, 41, of New Jersey, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States as to the enforcement of export controls and economic sanctions; conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA); smuggling; and failure to comply with the Automated Export System relating to the transportation of electronics.

According to the indictment, the defendants unlawfully purchased and exported highly sensitive and heavily regulated electronic components, some of which can be used in the development of nuclear and hypersonic weapons, quantum computing and other military applications.

“The Department of Justice and our international partners will not tolerate criminal schemes to bolster the Russian military’s war efforts,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “With three of the defendants now in custody, we have disrupted the procurement network allegedly used by the defendants and Russian intelligence services to smuggle sniper rifle ammunition and sensitive electronic components into Russia. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce our economic sanctions and export controls against those who enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war in Ukraine. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, the National Security Division, the Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and the FBI on this case.”

“Today the Department of Justice proves once again that we will relentlessly pursue those who support the Russian war machine by evading sanctions and export controls,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “By exposing the defendants’ smuggling of ammunition and transfer of sensitive U.S. technologies – from quantum computing to hypersonic weapons development – the Department of Justice is holding accountable those who are fueling Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine.”

“The FBI’s work, with our partners, to identify and stop illegal transfers of weapons and dual use-technology to Russia shows that we can and will reach around the world to keep Americans safe,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The industries that these illegal transfers could support – quantum computing, hypersonic weapons – pose great danger in the hands of our adversaries. The FBI will remain relentless against illegal transfers that support such industries in hostile nations, while we also continue to focus on protecting strategic technology innovation here at home.”

“This indictment demonstrates the relentless efforts of the FBI and its partners to thwart Russian procurement actors in their attempts to reconstitute the Russian military’s weapons cache,” said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. “The FBI, along with its U.S. and international partners, remains committed to disrupting and dismantling these networks, regardless of where they are.”

As alleged, the defendants were affiliated with Serniya Engineering and Sertal LLC, Moscow-based companies that operate under the direction of Russian intelligence services to procure advanced electronics and sophisticated testing equipment for Russia’s military industrial complex and research and development sector. Serniya and Sertal operated a vast network of shell companies and bank accounts throughout the world, including in the United States, that were used in furtherance of the scheme to conceal the involvement of the Russian government and the true identity(s) of Russian end users of U.S.-origin equipment.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) levied sanctions against Serniya, Sertal, and several companies used in the scheme, as well as multiple individuals affiliated with the network, including defendant Yevgeniy Grinin, calling them “instrumental to the Russian Federation’s war machine.”

“As alleged, the defendants perpetrated a sophisticated procurement network that illegally obtained sensitive U.S. technology to facilitate the Russian war machine,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “Our office will not rest in its vigorous pursuit of those who unlawfully procure U.S. technology to be used in furtherance of Russia’s brutal, continued attacks on democracy.”

“From the outset of the Task Force, robust enforcement of U.S. export controls and restrictions on the transfer of sensitive technology has been a key strategic priority,” said Task Force KleptoCapture Director Andrew C. Adams. “Today’s indictment demonstrates the reach of those controls and the United States’ commitment to choking off access to military grade equipment by the Russian regime. We will continue the steady pace of seizures, indictments and arrests, while the Kremlin shopping for spare parts in North Korea.”

As alleged in the indictment, Ippolitov received requests from Russian end users and relayed them to Grinin and Skvortsova, who were both employees of Sertal. Grinin and Skvortsova secured funding and shipping routes for the transactions, and tasked Livshits with procuring the items from U.S. companies. Livshits, a former resident of Brooklyn, New York, opened and controlled a variety of shell companies and associated bank accounts in the New York City area, which he used to route shipments and layer financial transactions in furtherance of the scheme, including in coordination with Konoshchenok, Brayman and Yermolenko.

Konoshchenok – who is suspected to be an FSB officer – would ship or physically smuggle U.S.-origin items from Estonia to Russia, including dual-use electronics, military-grade tactical ammunition and other export-controlled items. As alleged in the indictment, on Oct. 27, 2022, Konoshchenok was stopped at the Estonian border with 35 different types of semiconductors and other electronic components ordered by Livshits, as well as thousands of U.S.-made 6.5mm bullets, which are used in military sniper rifles. On Nov. 24, 2022, Konoshchenok was again stopped attempting to cross into Russia with approximately 20 cases containing thousands of U.S.-origin bullets, including tactical rounds and .338 military sniper rounds. Konoshchenok discussed “fabricating” business records with Livshits to conceal the ammunition shipments, on one occasion describing them as “auto parts.” Incident to Konoshchenok’s arrest, Estonian authorities searched a warehouse held in the name of Konoshchenok’s son and recovered approximately 375 pounds worth of ammunition.

Based in the United States, Brayman and Yermolenko would fabricate shipping documents and invoices, repackaging and reshipping items to intermediate destinations around the world — including to Konoshchenok in Estonia — before eventually arriving in Russia. Yermolenko and Brayman also helped Livshits set up and manage dozens of shell companies and corresponding bank accounts throughout the U.S. that were used in the scheme.

Livshits also interfaced directly with U.S. companies – often using the alias “David Wetzky” – and made materially false statements about how the items would be used and the ultimate end user. He also fabricated shipping documents and invoices and repackaged and reshipped items to intermediate destinations around the world before eventually arriving in Russia.

“The powerful export controls we’ve put in place have been successful in isolating Russia from the global economy,” stated Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod. “Today’s actions demonstrate our vigilance in uncovering Russian tactics to illicitly acquire the items they need to keep their brutal war going.”

Grinin, Ippolitov, Livshits and Skvortsova are further charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); wire fraud; and money laundering. Grinin, Ippolitov, Livshits, Skvortsova, Brayman and Yermolenko are further charged with bank fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Today, Brayman surrendered to the FBI and Yermolenko was arrested in New Jersey. Brayman will be arraigned in New Hampshire and Yermolenko will be arraigned in the Eastern District of New York. Konoshchenok was arrested separately by Estonian authorities on Dec. 6 at the request of the United States and is now pending extradition. The remaining defendants are at large.

If convicted of bank fraud or bank fraud conspiracy, the defendants face a maximum of 30 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Artie McConnell and Craig R. Heeren for the Eastern District of New York and Trial Attorney Scott A. Claffee of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case with assistance from Litigation Analyst Ben Richmond. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance. The United States wishes to thank the Estonian Internal Security Service and the Prosecutor’s Office for their support.

The investigation was coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export controls, and economic countermeasures that the United States, along with its foreign allies and partners, has imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. Announced by the Attorney General on March 2 and under the leadership of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the task force will continue to leverage all of the Department’s tools and authorities to combat efforts to evade or undermine the collective actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): Export Control
National Security

Component(s): Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Security Division (NSD)
Office of the Attorney General
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
USAO – New York, Eastern

Press Release Number: 22-1346



Rusya’dan Türkiye ve AB açıklaması!

Rusya Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcüsü Zaharova, Josep Borrell’in “Türkiye’nin AB üyesi ülkeler gibi Rusya’ya karşı yaptırımlara uyması”na yönelik ifadelerini nasıl değerlendirdiği sorusunu yanıtladı.


Rusya Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcüsü Mariya Zaharova, Türkiye’nin Avrupa Birliği’nin (AB) Rusya’ya uyguladığı yaptırımlara katılmasına ilişkin ifadesi nedeniyle AB Dış İlişkiler ve Güvenlik Politikası Yüksek Temsilcisi Josep Borrell’e hiçbir mantıklı düşüncesi olmadığı eleştirisinde bulundu.

Borrell’in ifadelerinin “mantıklı düşünceden” yoksun olduğunu belirten Zaharova, Türkiye’nin Moskova yönetimiyle olan ilişkisi nedeniyle hedef alındığını söyledi. Zaharova, AB’nin Rusya’ya uyguladığı yaptırımlara katılması için Türkiye’ye baskı yaptığını ifade etti. Borrell’i konumunu küçük düşürmek ve “yalanla saçma şeyler” yaymakla eleştiren Zaharova, kendine verilen notları okuyan Yüksek Temsilci’nin hiçbir mantıklı düşüncesi olmadığını belirtti.


Zaharova, Borrell’in söz konusu ifadelerine atıfta bulunarak, “Bu düşüncenin, sömürgecilik ve faşizm gibi derin kökleri var.” dedi.

Borrell ve diğer Batılı yetkililerin, Türkiye ve başka ülkelerin “ulusal çıkarlarını görmezden geldiği” değerlendirmesinde bulunan Zaharova, “Ankara, Batı’nın çıkarlarına hizmet ederse NATO üyesi olabilir ancak AB’nin parçası olamaz ve Şengen bölgesinden de men edildi.” ifadesini kullandı.


Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türkmenistan dönüşü uçakta gazetecilere değerlendirmelerde bulunmuş, gündeme ilişkin soruları yanıtlamıştı.

“AB Dış İlişkiler Yüksek Temsilcisi Josep Borrell, ‘Türkiye’nin Avrupa Birliği üyesi ülkeler gibi Rusya’ya karşı yaptırımlara uyması’ yönünde konuştu. Nasıl değerlendiriyorsunuz? Avrupa Birliği’ndeki liderler arasında, muhataplarınız arasında Rusya-Ukrayna politikası konusunda kendi politikanıza nispetle en yakın hangi lideri buluyorsunuz?” sorusuna Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, şu yanıtı vermişti:

“Borrell’i muhatap olarak almıyorum. O, olsa olsa Mevlüt Bey’in muhatabı olabilir. Yaptığı açıklama hiç şık değil. Yani bir defa bizim Rusya’yla ilişkilerimizi Borrell tayin, tanzim edemez. O, bu konularda böyle bir karar verecek ne kalitededir ne kapasitededir. Çok çirkin bir açıklama.”

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, “Sen nasıl olur da kalkarsın bizim Rusya’yla ilişkilerimizi yaptırımlar içerisinde değerlendirirsin?” ifadesini kullanmıştı.


ABD Türkiye için yeşil ışık yaktı! Yunanistan çılgına döndü

Yunanistan Başbakanı Kiryakos Miçotakis’in ‘Türkiye’ye F-16 satmayın’ çıkışıyla başlayan gerilim sonrası ABD Temsilciler Meclisi’nde Türkiye’ye F-16 satışının kısıtlayıcı koşullara bağlayan maddelerin çıkarılması Yunanistan’ı panikletti.


Türkiye, Yunanistan ve ABD üçgeninde F-16 krizi yeni boyutlara taşındı. ABD’nin F-16’ları Türkiye’ye satış için kısıtlayıcı maddeleri kaldırmasının ardından, ABD’nin kanatları altına saklanan Yunanistan ise bu durumu engellemeye yönelik adımlar atmaya çalıştı.


ERT muhabiri Lena Argyris’in bildirdiğine göre, Washington ile Ankara arasındaki F16’lar için teknik görüşmeler tamamlandı ancak Yunan lobisi F-16 satışına engel olmak konusunda ısrarcı.

Türk düşmanı olarak bilinen Bob Menendez yine skandal sözlerle satışı engellemeye çalıacağını vurguladı. Yunan basını bunu “Uluslararası satışlar konusunda son söz Kongre’ye aittir ve Senato Dış İlişkiler Komitesi Başkanı Senatör Menendez , böyle bir gelişmeyi engelleme niyetini defalarca ifade etmiştir.” sözleri ile gündemine taşıdı.

ERT tarafından bildirilen habere göre, ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığı, “politikamıza dayanarak, önerilen savunma transferleri hakkında Kongre’ye resmi olarak iletilinceye kadar kamuoyuna yorum yapmıyor veya onaylamıyoruz” ifadeleri kullanıldı ve görüşmelerin tamamlandığı bilgisi teyit edilemedi.


ABD’den konuya ilişkin yapılan açıklamada “ABD, NATO müttefiki Türkiye ile işbirliğine değer veriyor. Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ve Türkiye’nin uzun süredir devam eden ve derin ikili savunma bağları var ve Türkiye’nin NATO’da birlikte çalışabilirliğini sürdürmesi bir öncelik olmaya devam ediyor.” ifadeleri yer aldı.

Bob MenendezBob Menendez

ÖzgürBayrakHaber7.com – Editor