Notary offices in Pennsylvania are at risk from a Russian-backed company with ties, at least in part, to the countrys largest intelligence agency, according to a new report.
The news comes as Pennsylvania is gearing up to vote on the 2016 election, and with the help of new sanctions against Russia, the state’s notary offices are being targeted for the sale of a Pennsylvania property owned by a Russian investment firm.
According to an internal audit released by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, a Russian company called Sberbank purchased the notary station, located at 695 N. 2nd Street, in Philadelphia from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue in 2015 for $1.7 million.
The report, released Monday, said that SberBank was using the building as a “secretary office” in order to conduct business with an intelligence agency and was a “major conduit for financial services to Russian companies.”
The Russian investment company that was buying the property, Sbervest, is linked to the Russian government.
The Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office said in a statement to ABC News that the report is based on information it received from “multiple sources and does not indicate that SBERbank’s use of the property was authorized by the department of revenue.”
The report did not name the Russian company that bought the notarical office.
The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened to impose new sanctions on Russia and its military, and it has repeatedly denied that any foreign intelligence agencies were behind the hacking and publication of Democratic emails in an attempt to help Trump win the election.
The Trump administration is also targeting a Russian cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, for allegedly spying on the U.S. election.
Sberbank, which is a Russian state-owned financial institution, is one of the biggest banks in the world.
The company’s share price has doubled in the past year.