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Metalhouse President Indicted for Sanction Evasion, Money Laundering

He paid more than $150 million for steelmaking materials from an oligarch.

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President of Metalhouse LLC, John Can Unsalan, was indicted and arrested yesterday for engaging in a three-year scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against oligarch Sergey Kurchenko and two of Kurchenko’s companies by providing more than $150 million in return for steelmaking materials.

Between July 2018 and October 2021, 41-year-old Unsalan, used his company to allegedly transfer millions to Kurchenko for metal products. He also attempted to collect millions of dollars from Kurchenko for undelivered products.

Kurchenko was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2015 for his role in misappropriating state assets of Ukraine. The two sanctioned companies, Kompaniya Gaz-Alyans in the Russian Federation and ZAO Vneshtorgservis in Russian-occupied South Ossetia, Georgia, were designated by OFAC in 2018 for providing material support to the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic in the separatist-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine.

Unsalan, an Orlando, Florida resident, allegedly engaged in trade with the sanctioned entities to procure steelmaking equipment and raw material despite knowing that Kurchenko and the companies were subject to U.S. sanctions that prohibited him from doing business with them. No licenses from OFAC were applied for or issued for these payments or transfers.

Unsalan was charged with one count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); 10 counts of violating IEEPA; one count of conspiring to commit international money laundering; and ten counts of international money laundering.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count.

According to the company, Metalhouse was formed in Orlando, FL in 2014 as an S-Corp registered in the State of Florida.

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