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We the people ask the federal government to Take or explain a position on an issue or policy:

lift sanctions on Russian singer Grigoriy Leps.

Created by A.S. on November 02, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Treasury declared to have designated six individuals linked to the Brothers’ Circle criminal group.
The press-release contains information that Grigory Lepsveridze (known as Grigory Leps) couriers money on behalf of one of Vladislav Leontyev without giving any proofs.
This act caused a huge public indignation in Russia.
We demand The U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide evidence of Grigory Leps' involvement in the criminal group or lift sanctions and tender an apology.
To avoid the misunderstanding we ask you to form a commission composed of representatives of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Russian Embassy in the U.S., public figures and the Comissioner for Human Rights.

Response to Petition

What We Have to Say About Grigory Lepsveridze

On July 24, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, imposing sanctions against the Brothers' Circle and other significant transnational criminal organizations. These sanctions are intended to disrupt the ongoing activities of criminal groups that threaten U.S. national interests and to protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system from illicit financial flows generated by criminal activities occurring outside U.S. jurisdiction. A copy of E.O. 13581 is available on the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) here.

On October 30, 2013, OFAC designated Grigory Lepsveridze under E.O. 13581 and added his name to the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons ("SDN List") because he acts for or on behalf of Vladislav Leontyev by transporting money on his behalf. Mr. Leontyev, a vory v zakone (or "thief-in-law"), was designated by OFAC under E.O. 13581 on February 23, 2012, for acting for or on behalf of the Brothers' Circle as one of the organization's key members. Mr. Leontyev has been involved in various criminal activities, including narcotics trafficking, and was also involved in a shooting in 2003 between regional factions within Russian organized criminal networks over an attempt to seize control of a precious metals business. At the time of OFAC's action, Mr. Leontyev was wanted by Russian authorities for illegal transactions involving precious metals and narcotics.

OFAC follows a rigorous process for designating individuals and entities under the Transnational Criminal Organizations sanctions, which includes multiple levels of review, to ensure that the criteria established by the President in E.O. 13581 for taking such actions are satisfied. OFAC followed this process in connection with both Grigory Lepsveridze's and Vladislav Leontyev's designations.

At any time, Mr. Lepsveridze may seek reconsideration of his designation by filing a petition with OFAC for an administrative review pursuant to 31 C.F.R. § 501.807. OFAC will consider any arguments and evidence submitted in the administrative petition in determining whether to maintain or withdraw the designation of Mr. Lepsveridze.

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