The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced a search for Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef”.
The relevant information is posted in the “Most Wanted” section on the agency’s website.
“The FBI announces a reward of up to 250 thousand US dollars for information that may lead to the arrest of Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin,” the report says.
The FBI is looking for Prigogine for allegedly engaging in a criminal conspiracy between early 2014 and February 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to commit fraud against the United States by creating conditions that weakened, obstructed, or undermined the legitimate activities of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State.
Prigozhin was the main source of funding for the activities of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), located in St. Petersburg. The investigation also finds that Prigozhin directed the company’s operational activities to interfere in the political and electoral process of the United States, including the acquisition of American computer server space, the creation of hundreds of virtual entities that do not exist in reality, and the use of illegally appropriated identification information of persons from the United States.
“The purpose of this activity was to gain influence over the opinion of a significant number of Americans with the subsequent purpose of interfering in the US political system, including the course of the 2016 presidential election,” the FBI said on its website.
On February 16, 2018, the U.S. Federal District Court in Washington issued an arrest warrant for Prigozhin after he was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States.
Prigozhin is also considered the manager and financier of the Wagner PMC, which conducts or has conducted dangerous and destabilizing operations in foreign countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Mozambique.
The US Treasury Department in September 2020 imposed sanctions against several Russians and Russian companies from the Prigozhin network.