Seized Russian Yacht Costing U.S. Taxpayers Millions

( – The American taxpayer is feeling the pinch from an unexpected source— a seized Russian superyacht. The Amadea, a 348-foot behemoth valued at $300 million, has been in the U.S. government’s possession since April 2022 after being linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov. However, maintaining this luxurious vessel has proven surprisingly costly, prompting the government to seek permission from a judge to auction it off.

The story began in 2018 when the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Kerimov for alleged money laundering. His estimated $14 billion net worth couldn’t shield him, and authorities set their sights on the Amadea, seizing it in Fiji. But the victory came with a hefty price tag.

Over the past 22 months, the government has shelled out nearly $20 million to keep the Amadea afloat. This translates to a staggering $600,000 monthly bill, broken down into $360,000 for crew salaries, $75,000 for fuel, and $165,000 for other maintenance costs. Add to that a hefty $1.7 million annual insurance premium, and the total balloons to a staggering $18.3 million, with no end in sight.

The government filed a motion to auction the yacht, citing the mounting costs. They argued that maintaining the operational cost of the Russian superyacht is far too expensive and should not be borne by taxpayers. They believe auctioning the yacht is the most logical solution.

However, a plot twist emerged from another Russian business magnate, Eduard Khudainatov. He claims ownership of the Amadea, conveniently unsanctioned by the U.S., and demands its return. His lawyers branded the seizure “unlawful” and even offered to reimburse the government for maintenance costs.

The Treasury Department, however, isn’t buying it. They maintain Kerimov is the true “beneficial owner,” hiding behind shell companies and “front persons” to obscure his involvement. They pointed to a complex web of legal entities and a $1 billion trust linked to Kerimov, where funds were invested in large public and private U.S. firms.

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