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US Treasury blacklists Russian pop star

WASHINGTON, October 31 (RAPSI) – Russian pop singer Grigory Leps has been placed on a blacklist of sorts by the US Treasury Department on suspicion of having ties with organized crime, US Treasury spokesman John Sullivan told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The US Treasury released a statement on its website in which it informed of putting six individuals and four companies on blacklist, for the alleged connection with the Brothers’ Circle criminal enterprise leaders Vladislav Leontyev and Gafur Rakhimov. Among those on the list, is Grigory Viktorovich Lepsveridze, who is widely known in Russia as a popular singer Grigory Leps.
The Treasury Department statement claims that, "Grigory Lepsveridze couriers money on behalf of Vladislav Leontyev." Leontyev was blacklisted under the same executive order last year for serving as “a key member of the Brothers’ Circle and has been involved in various criminal activities, including narcotics trafficking.”
The statement goes on to stipulate that, "Today’s action generally prohibits [US] persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals, and freezes any assets they may have under [US] jurisdiction."
According to information provided by the US Treasury Department, The Brothers’ Circle is one of five transnational criminal organizations sanctioned by the US, along with the Camorra, the Yakuza, Los Zetas, and MS-13.
The Brothers’ Circle comprises leaders and senior members of several Eurasian criminal groups that are largely based in the countries of the former Soviet Union, but which also operate in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, the Department of the Treasury said.