Former Fox News director Jack Hanick was charged on Thursday for violating U.S. sanctions in his work with Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, according to the Justice Department.
The U.S. sanctions on Malofeyev prohibit American citizens from working for or doing business with the individual, and Hanick, 71, was found to be working with him over the course of several years and made false statements about that relationship. Hanick was provisionally arrested in London in February, with the sanctions charge carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The false statements charge carries a maximum penalty of five years.
“Konstantin Malofeyev is closely tied to Russian aggression in Ukraine, having been determined by OFAC to have been one of the main sources of financing for the promotion of Russia-aligned separatist groups operating in the sovereign nation of Ukraine,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in the release. “The Indictment unsealed today shows this Office’s commitment to the enforcement of laws intended to hamstring those who would use their wealth to undermine fundamental democratic processes. This Office will continue to be a leader in the Justice Department’s work to hold accountable actors who would support flagrant and unjustified acts of war.”
Malofeyev was previously sanctioned for threatening Ukraine and providing financial support to the Donetsk separatist region. Hanick “knowingly chose” to help Malofeyev by spreading “destabilizing messages” and attempting to establish TV networks across Russia, Bulgaria and Greece, according to the department.
In December 2014, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Malofeyev as a Specially Designated National for being one of the main sources of financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea. Hanick worked directly Malofeyev from around 2013 through at least 2017. He began traveling to Russia in early 2013 to meet with Malofeyev regarding plans for the TV networks and later that year moved to the country after negotiating employment terms with Malofeyev, the department said.
After 2014, Hanick continued working and reporting directly to Malofeyev, playing a leadership role at the Russian TV network as board chairman and general advisor and producer, according to emails from 2015 to 2017.