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US Slaps Sanctions on Billionaire Dan Gertler

Dec 26, 2017 3:29 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Billionaire businessman and diamond investor Dan Gertler was among 13 people the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named as serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors. 

The Treasury imposed sanctions on those individuals in an executive order signed by President Donald Trump under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by Congress last year. Based on these sanctions, OFAC has blocked all US-held assets of entities named in the document, and forbidden any US citizens from doing business with them.

Claims against Gertler include using his close friendship with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila to access deals within the DRC that benefited the businessman financially while causing substantial loss to the DRC government, the Treasury stated.

Gertler set himself up as a middleman, requiring some companies to go through him to do business in the DRC, OFAC alleged. Consequently, the Treasury claimed he caused the DRC to lose $1.36 billion in revenue between 2010 and 2012 by underpricing mining assets sold to offshore companies linked to him. He further brought about a $149.5 million loss of potential revenue for the DRC by buying the rights to an oil block from the DRC government for $500,000 and then reselling it for $150 million, the government body asserted.

Gertler, the grandson of Moshe Schnitzer, the first president and co-founder of the Israeli Diamond Exchange, grew up in the diamond industry. He is the founder of Dan Gertler International (DGI), one of the largest wholesale distributors of rough and polished diamonds globally. He owns diamond mining interests in the DRC along with a variety of other assets.
Tags: Dan Gertler, Dan Gertler International, DGI, Donald Trump, Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Congress, OFAC, Office of Foreign Assets Control, President Donald Trump, Rapaport News, US
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