Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) introduced the Justice for Victims of Kleptocracy Act. The legislation, developed with the support of the US Helsinki Commission, directs the Department of Justice to clearly list on a website the amount of money that has been stolen from the citizens of various kleptocracies around the world and recovered by the United States.
It also expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should return this money to the peoples from whom it was stolen once these kleptocracies meet standards of governance and democracy.
“The illegitimate ruler Nicholas Maduro violates the human rights and dignity of Venezuela’s citizens while enriching himself at the expense of his people, all while driving his nation into economic ruin with his disastrous policies. Similarly, Vladimir Putin suppresses those fighting for democracy while those in his inner circle are financially prospering by stealing from the Russian people,” said Curtis. “The Justice for Victims of Kleptocracy Act would shine a light on the extent of corruption against the people of Venezuela, Russia, and all those oppressed by corrupt authoritarians.”
“We must always remember that the number one victims of the Putin regime are the Russian people. Kremlin kleptocrats raid their pension funds and state coffers then live the high-life on their tax dollars. All the while, Putin and his cronies seek to distract the Russian people with foreign wars and fear-mongering. We see this pattern over and over around the world,” said Malinowski. “There is no better way for America to stand up for people suffering under repressive regimes than recovering the money their leaders have stolen and letting them know about it.”
Original cosponsors include Helsinki Commissioners Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04). Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) is also an original cosponsor of the legislation.