By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - The Treasury Department placed sanction on multiple Russian individuals Monday for alleged attempts to influence the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.
Among them are Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the Russian financier behind the Internet Research Agency, and six employees.
The firm is described as St. Petersburg-based "troll farm" that uses social media accounts and fake news stories to interfere in U.S. elections, the Financial Times reported.
"Today’s action also increases pressure on previously designated person Yevgeniy Prigozhin by targeting his physical assets, including three aircraft and a yacht, as well as employees of the Internet Research Agency, which Yevgeniy Prigozhin finances," the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency will use its "authorities against anyone seeking to undermine our processes and subversively influence voters."
Anyone doing business with Prigozhin or using one of his aircraft or yachts could face secondary sanctions, the Treasury Department said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the action Monday served as a warning and those who continue to engage with these individuals, companies, aircraft, or vessel may also be subject to future sanctions.
"The United States will continue to push back against malign actors who seek to subvert our democratic processes and we will not hesitate to impose further costs on Russia for its destabilizing and unacceptable activities," Pompeo said.