On February 16, 2018, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller along with 12 other Russian individuals and three Russian entities.
Prighozin is allegedly a financial backer for the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm indicted by Mueller in February 2018 for fueling propaganda in the 2016 presidential election. Prigozhin, who has been nicknamed “Putin’s chef” due to his close relationship with the President, has been linked to Putin since the 1990s. He is the founder of Concord Catering, an entity also listed as a defendant in the February 16 indictment, and was awarded a $1.6 billion contract to feed the Russian military in 2012. Since then, Prighozin has signed several lucrative contracts with the Russian state. As a result, Proighozin and two of his companies were sanctioned by the United States in December 2016 for providing support to Senior Russian officials and the military during their operations in Ukraine.
The indictments accused the defendants of embarking on an “information warfare” scheme through which they attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in order to assist in electing Donald Trump as president. The counts include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The indictments charge that the Internet Research Agency LLC “engaged in operations to interfere with elections and political processes.” The Internet Research Agency LLC allegedly received funding from defendant Prigozhin and his companies, including defendant entities Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering. No pleas have been reported for these defendants. Court documents also allege that Prigozhin funded “Operation Lakhta,” an influence campaign that continued into 2018.
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