Lucerne businessman new on US sanctions list

war in Ukraine

This businessman from Lucerne is now on the sanctions list of the US Treasury Department

The US government accused Lucerne businessman Alexander Studhalter of laundering money for Russian multibillionaire Sulejman Kerimov. Studhalter denied the allegation a few months ago.

The US government has long targeted Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov and his corporate empire.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images Europe

The administration of US President Joe Biden continues its actions against Russian multi-billionaire Suleiman Kerimov. On Monday, the US Treasury Department included not only close family members and well-known oligarchs already sanctioned on the list of “criminal elites” who financed the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The name of Lucerne businessman Alexander Studhalter is now also on this sanction list.

Treasury Department charges in Washington: Studhalter is a key figure in the financial network that the 56-year-old Kerimov stretched. “Studhalter also allegedly laundered a significant amount of money on Kerimov’s behalf,” the press release states. Although the Department’s Sanctions Committee did not provide any evidence to support this claim, it also blacklisted eight Studhalters companies. These companies allegedly operated in Switzerland, Russia and several European countries.

Defendant Luzerner denied the allegations

In the spring, when there was last talk of his closeness to Kerimov, Studhalter denied allegations that he maintained offshore structures for his friend. The Lucerne native also denied, through a spokesman, that he helped Kerimov hide or conceal assets. Studhalter also emphasized that all of his companies were subject to Swiss anti-money laundering law and were audited, declared and taxed in Switzerland.

Lucerne investor Alexander Studhalter is new on the US Treasury's sanctions list.

Lucerne investor Alexander Studhalter is new on the US Treasury’s sanctions list.

Image: Philipp Schmidli

Alexander Studhalter is also a member of the board of directors and the largest single shareholder of Highlight Event and Entertainment, a company listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The company is not directly mentioned in the US Treasury press release. However, the marketing company’s proximity to a trafficker who is outlawed in the US could cause problems for the Pratteln-based firm.

In addition to Studhalter, the two sons of the businessman are also sanctioned. You allegedly headed the sanctioned company Swiss International Advisory Group in Lucerne. Also new to the Ministry of Finance’s sanctions list is the Swiss branch of a Russian semiconductor manufacturer, which is said to be in the orbit of the Russian armed forces. In this context, the USA also sanctioned two other businessmen with Swiss citizenship.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions list applies only to persons who are either U.S. citizens or have permanent U.S. employment authorization. It is prohibited to do business with any person or entity on this list. The United States is doing everything it can, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Monday, to disrupt the Kremlin’s military supply chain to “deny Russia the equipment and technology it needs to wage its illegal war against Ukraine.”

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