The US imposed sanctions against Russian citizens for influencing the elections, and Tether froze their funds

On March 20, 2024, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions against Russian citizens Ilya Gambashidze and Nikolai Tupikin, as well as their companies.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury responsible for financial intelligence, planning, and enforcement of economic and trade sanctions in support of American national security and foreign policy objectives.
We will indicate the reason from the quote: “for participating in a campaign of malicious influence abroad at the direction of the administration of the President of Russia.” Allegedly, these individuals manipulated voters around the world in order to undermine trust in local authorities.

OFAC states that these individuals created more than 60 websites and social media accounts posing as European media and government organizations.

Two USDT addresses belonging to Gambashidze were also indicated, and Tether temporarily froze all its tokens on them.
Stated reason for imposing sanctions
According to the US Treasury, Gambashidze, the founder of the Social Design Agency in Russia, and Tupikin, the general director of Structural LLC, were sanctioned for engaging personnel in disseminating false information about international elections and political conflicts, allegedly often acting at the direction of Russian authorities.

Sanctioned individuals allegedly tried to influence foreign elections by posing as representatives of European media and government organizations. According to OFAC, by the end of 2022, Gabashidze and Tupikin had created more than 60 web resources posing as these organizations and promoted them on social networks in order to deceive voters in the run-up to the elections.
Fake websites included embedded images and working links to legitimate sites and even used the fictitious site’s cookie acceptance page

the Treasury Department said in a statement

Previously, the European media accused Gambashidze in that he has experience in conducting disinformation campaigns to increase Russia's influence abroad. In 2023, his name was included in the list of persons subject to sanctions by the Council of the European Union for harassment of voters in Ukraine and other Western European countries. After this, Gambashidze came to the attention of the US Department of State due to the spread of false information in Latin America, and then began to actively promote events related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Blockchain activities of Gambashidze
Two addresses USDT on the Tron network OFAC linked to Gabashidze, namely:
Blockchain analytics based on OFAC data show that addresses associated with Gambashidze received more than $200,000 in USDT through the TRON network, a significant portion of which came directly from the previously sanctioned Russian exchange Garantex. Most of these funds were then transferred to a single deposit address on the main exchange. The US government is once again trying to convict Garantex of illegal activities associated with the Russian government.

The connection graph is built on the Bholder solution. These markings are used from the OFAC statement.

Tether, the issuer of the USDT token, promptly froze all tokens at these addresses, presumably belonging to a Russian citizen.
AML Crypto opinion
We at AML Crypto, do not undertake to judge the legality and sufficiency of the evidence base for accusations of this kind. We would like to note the quick response of the Tether company and the extremely fast freezing of user funds.

This situation once again shows us how dangerous it is to interact with “dirty” funds involved in illegal activities. Verifying your wallet is an important step to ensure the safety of your assets. We can easily answer the question “how to check the purity of a crypto wallet” - the aml check service Btrace, a free first check for each new user.
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