Russian tycoon hands back three private jets after US sanctions: report

A Russian billionaire targeted by recent U.S. sanctions has reportedly turned in his three private jets because the penalties made it impossible to use them.

Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

He was one of dozens of Russian oligarchs hit with sanctions by the Treasury Department last month.

The sanctions included potential punishments for companies that did business with listed individuals. 

The firm being used to sell the jets told Reuters that the sanctions forced Deripaska to terminate his lease early.

Credit Suisse and Raiffeisen, two European banks, own the jets. 

Two of the jets are on sale for $29.95 million each, Reuters reported Thursday.

The Treasury Department announced last month that the sanctions on Deripaska, 50, were prompted by allegations of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegal wiretapping, extortion and racketeering.

Deripaska is considered among the Russian oligarchs closest to Putin. A 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable reported by The Associated Press described him as "among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis" and "a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin's trips abroad."

He is relevant in Mueller's investigation because former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly offered in an email to an intermediary to provide Deripaska with private briefings on the campaign.