Jack Hanick flouted sanctions against Putin Oligarch: Feds

CRIMEA-RUSSIA-UKRAINE CONFLICT

Russian Army military vehicles are seen in Armyansk, Crimea, February 25, 2022. – Ukrainian forces repulsed Russian invaders in the streets of the capital Kyiv on February 25, 2022, as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Moscow of targeting civilians, prompting more international sanctions.

A former Fox News executive helped build a Russian TV network for an oligarch sanctioned for facilitating Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 — and lied to the FBI about it this year, federal prosecutors claimed Thursday.

The producer, Jack Hanickboasted of him LinkedIn profile about his directorships at two major television networks then controlled by a deceased Fox News bigwig. While working for CNBC in 2015, Hanick said he directed Straight Forward with Roger Ailes’, who was then president of this network. Hanick landed his spot on Fox News the same year that Ailes became that network’s CEO.

Fox spokeswoman Caley Cronin says that Hanick was a weekend director prior to his departure in 2011. His LinkedIn page shows a notable gap between Hanick’s activities between his tenure this year and 2018.

“Closely linked to Russian aggression in Ukraine”

Federal prosecutors claim that this is because Hanick has been helping out in the meantime Konstantin Malofeyeva man with a nickname Vladimir Putin’s “Sorros.” The oligarch, also known as Malofeev, was sanctioned in 2014 – and reportedly worked with Hanick to create a network called Zargrad television.

The Treasury Ministry said Malofeev funded Russia to encourage separatism in Crimea and broadly engaged in policies that “threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The indictment falls two days after President Joe Biden used his Address of the State of the Union Announcement of a Justice Department task force to prosecute Russian oligarchs in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams referenced this story in a statement accompanying Hanick’s indictment.

“Konstantin Malofeyev is closely linked to Russian aggression in Ukraine, having been identified by OFAC as one of the main sources of funding for the promotion of Russia-allied separatist groups operating in the sovereign nation of Ukraine,” Williams said. “The United States sanctions against Malofeyev prohibit U.S. citizens from working for Malofeyev or doing business with Malofeyev, but Hanick is alleged to have violated those sanctions by working directly for Malofeyev on several television projects over the course of several years .”

The first such project named in the indictment is a Russian television channel, not named in the indictment but reportedly called Tsargrad TV. Prosecutors say they learned details about the origins of this project through a “court-authorized search” of an “unpublished “memoir” they found in Hanick’s email account.

“There is 0 money in our account”

According to this “unpublished ‘memoir’,” prosecutors say, “Hanick was allegedly traveling to Russia at the time to speak at a conference, but was informed by an associate of Malofeyev that ‘the real purpose of the trip’ was ‘to imagine [Hanick] to Investors” in a planned television news channel in Russia. Between February 2013 and June 2013, Hanick made four more trips to Russia. During these trips, he met with Malofeyev and Malofeyev associates to discuss Malofeyev’s plan for Russian cable television news to create a new network.”

After the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Assets Control (OFAC) appointed Malofeyev, Hanick continued to report directly to the oligarch, prosecutors say.

“In or about the January draft of a ‘[Russian TV Network] Board News Policy’,” the indictment reads. “Hanick wrote that the policy was intended to ‘enact your vision and give you information so you can make decisions… You are the founder and the main architect of the project. We, as board members, have a responsibility to instruct staff or to inform them of the implementation of their instructions.’ Later in January 2015, Hanick emailed Malofeyev regarding “funding of [the Russian TV Network]’ in which Hanick noted that ‘there is 0 money in our account’ and ‘you said when we had a problem contacting you directly.’

Prosecutors say that Hanick also worked for Malofeyev on a Greek and a Bulgarian TV channel.

According to the indictment, on February 2, 2021, in the early days of the Biden administration, Hanick lied to the FBI about his work with the oligarch.

“While learning about this interview, Hanick admitted that Malofeyev was subject to United States sanctions within several months of their announcement in December 2014, and that he knew that US citizens were not permitted to do business with sanctioned individuals to do,” the indictment said. “Hanick has also falsely claimed without substantive and partial involvement that Malofeyev had Hanick’s trip to Bulgaria in connection with the deal with the Bulgarian TV channel and that Hanick was unaware that Malofeyev had any connection with the Bulgarian TV channel until he read about it afterwards the press.”

The indictment cites several messages from Hanick from 2015 that allegedly show his consciousness.

A day after that interview, prosecutors say, on February 3 this year, Hanick was “provisionally arrested” in London awaiting extradition. The indictment was unsealed today and the case has been assigned to a senior US District Judge Lewis Kaplan.

Read the following indictment:

(Photo by Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/ex-fox-news-director-indicted-for-allegedly-flouting-sanctions-against-oligarch-known-as-putins-soros/ Jack Hanick flouted sanctions against Putin Oligarch: Feds

James Brien

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