The Impact of Treasury’s Pilot Program on Stemming the Tide of Dirty Money Into US Real Estate 

Matthew Collin, Florian Hollenbach, David Szakonyi

Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationResearch


Fifteen years ago, a 23,000 square foot mansion in Washington D.C.’s swanky Embassy Row was bought for $15 million in cash. The purchase was made through a Delaware-registered shell company, a corporation that existed on paper, but had no real physical presence. Buying the mansion through a company kept the identity of the ultimate owner out of public records, with even those selling the estate remaining in the dark as to who they were. It was only a decade later that reporting by the Washington Post revealed that the true owner of the property was Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Deripaska, who was once the richest person in Russia, also picked up $47 million worth of property in Manhattan through companies he controlled. He was subsequently slapped with sanctions by the U.S. Treasury in 2018 due to Russia’s ongoing instigation of violence in Eastern Ukraine.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date7 Mar 2022
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
PublisherThe Brookings Institution
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2022

Cite this