U.S. Justice Department accuses Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky of laundering millions of dollars
The U.S. accused Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky of embezzling billions of dollars from PrivatBank and using a huge number of companies to launder that money in the United States and around the world.
The U.S. Department of Justice intends to confiscate two commercial real estate objects, which the oligarch allegedly purchased with stolen funds from PrivatBank, announced the press service of the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, August 6.
It is noted that the complaint was also filed not only against Kolomoisky, but also against his partner Gennady Bogoliubov: “The two obtained fraudulent loans and lines of credit from approximately 2008 through 2016, when the scheme was uncovered, and the bank was nationalized by the National Bank of Ukraine.”
“The United States filed two civil forfeiture complaints today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that commercial real estate in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas, Texas, both acquired using funds misappropriated from PrivatBank in Ukraine, are subject to forfeiture based on violations of federal money laundering statutes,” the press release reads.
These include the Louisville office tower known as PNC Plaza, and the Dallas office park known as the former CompuCom Headquarters. The market value of the two facilities is $70 million.
As the U.S. Justice Department notes, “the complaints allege that they [Kolomoisky and associates] laundered a portion of the criminal proceeds using an array of shell companies’ bank accounts, primarily at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch, before they transferred the funds to the United States. As alleged in the complaint, the loans were rarely repaid except with more fraudulently obtained loan proceeds”.
The U.S. Justice Department also points to the accomplices of Kolomoisky and his partner Gennady Bogoliubov – Mordechai Korf and Uriel Laberi who, operating out of offices in Miami, created a web of entities, usually under some variation of the name “Optima,” to further launder the misappropriated funds and invest them.
In May 2019, PrivatBank filed a lawsuit against Kolomoisky and Bogoliubov in a U.S. court.
The basis for the lawsuit in the U.S. court was a number of schemes that have signs of fraud, and, according to PrivatBank, were organized by Kolomoisky and Bogoliubov in order to appropriate assets in the U.S. worth hundreds of millions of dollars through fraud and legalization of proceeds from corporate loans issued by PrivatBank during the period when it belonged to the defendants.
In May 2020, a grand jury was convened in Ohio, where Kolomoisky’s possible financial crimes are being investigated. A grand jury is investigating allegations of laundering of funds withdrawn from PrivatBank before nationalization. The defendents allegedly obtained money in Ukraine as bank deposits of the population, and in the U.S. they bought up assets.
Representatives of the FBI repeatedly visited Ukraine. In the case against Kolomoisky, they met with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka and investigators of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.
On Tuesday, August 4, the FBI conducted a series of searches at the offices of the Cleveland Real Estate Company, which is associated with Kolomoisky.