US sanctions 12 Russians in Magnitsky case that set off dispute over human rights, adoptions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. is imposing sanctions against 12 Russians under a law named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who alleged in 2008 that organized criminals colluded with a Russian government official to claim a fraudulent $230 million tax rebate.

The individuals the Treasury Department sanctioned Tuesday were four prison officials, a judge, court official, a law enforcement investigator and alleged co-conspirators in the fraud case. On the list is Dr. Dmitry Kratov, who was charged in Magnitsky’s 2009 death, but acquitted of negligence in December.

The Magnitsky affair ignited a dispute between Russia and Washington that has included U.S. sanctions against suspected Russian human rights violators and a ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

The sanctions ban U.S. visas for the individuals and freeze assets under U.S. jurisdiction.