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U.S. seeks to seize two properties worth $70 million in Ukraine bank scandal

"The complaints allege that Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholiubov, who owned PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine, embezzled and defrauded the bank of billions of dollars," according to the DOJ.

Updated: August 11, 2020 - 3:19pm

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The U.S. Justice Department has intervened in a Ukrainian banking scandal, filing civil forfeiture complaints targeting two properties in Texas and Kentucky worth a total of $70 million.

The complaints this month allege that the buildings were purchased using funds obtained through nefarious activities that involved money laundering ill-gotten funds over a period of multiple years.

"The complaints allege that Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholiubov, who owned PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine, embezzled and defrauded the bank of billions of dollars. 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," according to the DOJ

"The complaints allege that they 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 Department said.

Two other individuals allegedly participated, laundering and investing the money, some of which was used to obtain the two properties targeted by the U.S. government.

"As alleged in the Complaints, in the United States, associates of Kolomoisky and Bogoliubov, Mordechai Korf and Uriel Laber, 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," the DOJ said. "They purchased hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate and businesses across the country, including the properties subject to forfeiture: the Louisville office tower known as PNC Plaza, and the Dallas office park known as the former CompuCom Headquarters. The buildings have a combined value of approximately $70 million."

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