A former News Director for the US-based Fox News, that had a pro-Russian bent to protect former President Donald Trump, was charged with violating American sanctions in trying to set up a pro-Russian TV station in Greece.
Jack Hanick, 71, was working for Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, the Justice Department said in its charges against the former news producer, and with making false statements about his relationship.
That was tied to Russia’s 2014 takeover of Crimea in violation of sanctions prohibiting Americans from working for the oligarch and other Russian figures, and trying to establish pro-Russian TV stations, including in Russia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Hanick was 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.
He said the indictment shows a “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 while Hanick “knowingly chose” to help Malofeyev by spreading “destabilizing messages” to set up TV stations.
Hanick worked directly Malofeyev from around 2013 through at least 2017 and began traveling to Russia in 2013 to meet him to set up the propaganda stations and moved there after making a deal with the oligarch, the charge 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 2015-17.