Tycoon Konstantin Malofeev (47) this week became the first Russian oligarch to be charged with a criminal charge in the United States related to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine.a process that ended with the de facto annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia.
Malofeev is charged now by the State Department of this country in the Southern District of New York for conspiring and violating the sanctions imposed by the United States
Since the United States sanctioned Malofeyev, “he flagrantly and repeatedly violated the sanctions imposed on him by attempting to establish media companies across Europe“, Detained Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Now, who is this controversial figure on arrival in the Russian government?
Malofeev was born on July 3, 1974 in the city of Pushchino, where he attended an art school. In 1996 he graduated in law from Moscow State University.
His father, Valery Mikhailovich, is an astrophysicist and head of the laboratory of the Plasma Astrophysics Department of the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory. His mother, Raisa Zinurovna, is a programmer and CEO of the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, of which Malofeev is the president and co-founder.
In 1996, Malofeev joined investment bank Renaissance Capital and later held senior positions at Interros, MDM Bank and other banks and investment groups. From 2002 to 2004, he was Head of Corporate Finance at MDM Bank, a leading investment bank in Russia, where he worked on mergers and acquisitions for the bank.
In 2005, he founded Marshall Capital, a Russian investment group that focuses on direct investments in telecommunications, media and technology, as well as real estate and agriculture.. At the end of 2014, the company passed under the management of the French fund CFG Capital. The association agreement created the joint venture CFG Marshall, which reached a total investment of more than 2,000 million euros.
On another side, Malofeev is the chairman of the board of Tsargrad, an ultra-conservative Russian Orthodox Christian cable television network. This media platform is publicly accused of spreading conspiracy theories.
In 2020, YouTube blocked this channel from its platform, following US sanctions against Malofeev.
Today, the charity he founded with his mother is the largest in Russia. Besides, Malofeev is a member of the board of directors of the non-profit “Safe Internet League”, a Russian non-governmental organization created to censor dangerous content on the Internet.
The European Commission, the United States and Ukraine have accused Malofeev of funding Russian separatist groups in Ukraine, which in 2014 launched the war process in the Crimean Peninsula.
In May 2014, during the separatist occupation, Ukrainian security services intercepted a phone call in which a person with the same name and surname as Malofeev, and a voice similar to his, provided tactical military intelligence to separatists and was praised for a recent ambush. against Ukrainian anti-terrorist troops.
Malofeev had been identified by the US Treasury as one of the main sources of funding for Russian supporters of separatism in Crimea and for providing material support to the self-declared republic of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, for which he was sanctioned. Besides, The businessman called the 2022 invasion, led by Vladimir Putin, a “holy war”.
Currently, the United States government indicates that Malofeev violated these sanctions and founded media outlets in Europe to spread Russian propaganda.
US authorities allege in the 2013 indictment that Malofeyev hired Jack Hanick, a former Fox News editor, to work for a Russian cable television news network. Hanick was later sent to Greece and Bulgaria on Malofeyev’s behalf to help with media projects, according to federal prosecutors.
Hanick, who recently resided in London, faces a sanctions charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a misrepresentation charge which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
“Malofeyev also conspired with Hanick and others to illegally transfer a $10 million investment Malofeyev had made in a US bank to a business partner in Greece, in violation of sanctions blocking the transfer of his assets.“maintains the charge against him in the Southern District of New York.
Malofeev is considered a fugitive by the United States and authorities there assume he is currently on Russian territory.