One of the richest people in Ukraine, Kolomowski has ties to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who played a role in the incident that led to President Trump’s impeachment last year. He made a fortune in the rough and plummeting capitalism that swept Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He accumulated assets including airlines and financial institutions, and created an image of himself beyond reality, nicknamed “Benya”, and kept the shark aquarium in his office.
The Justice Department said that before nationalizing fraud, Kolomoisky and Boholiubov were the two main owners of PrivatBank, who basically used it as a personal account to build a business empire in the United States. They ask PrivatBank for money, because they are the owner, so they keep receiving money. The money was then transferred through the company̵
Experts are increasingly concerned that US real estate-including factories and facilities essential to American industry-has attracted foreign capital, including the proceeds of foreign criminal activity. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in the purchases of Kolomoisky and Boholiubov, commercial real estate in Ohio exceeded 5 million square feet, steel plants in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Michigan, mobile phone manufacturing plants in Illinois and Texas commercial estate. The confiscated complaint sought to seize approximately 19.5 acres of office park in Dallas and the PNC Plaza building in Louisville.
Kolomoisky’s lawyer Michael J. Sullivan said in an email: Kolomoisky strongly denies the allegations in the complaint filed by the Ministry of Justice. ” These charges are not criminal charges, and are similar to the charges in the bank’s lawsuit filed in the Delaware court. Boholiubov’s lawyer did not respond to an email requesting comment.
For a long time, Kolomoisky has also faced criminal investigations into possible money laundering by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland. As part of the case, the FBI raided the Optima Management Group office in downtown Cleveland and the Optima office in the Southeastern Financial Center building in Miami on Tuesday.
In Thursday’s court documents, the Department of Justice alleges that two Miami business partners in Kolomsky and Boholiupov-Mordechai Korf and Uriel Laber-helped acquire and manage shares held by American oligarchs, which usually With a certain name “Optima”. . According to the Justice Department, Optima Ventures once became “Cleveland’s largest commercial real estate holder” and used the stolen money to purchase major office buildings and hotels in the downtown area.
Last year, Marc Kasowitz, a New York lawyer who also represented Trump, signed a contract to represent Kolomoisky and Boholiubov of Delaware. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, the last president of Ukraine, the Russian government nationalized the private bank (Privatbank), claiming that Kolomoisky and one of its business partners defrauded the bank for dozens Billion dollars in funding. Kolomoisky denied the allegations, but fled from Kyiv to Israel, where he also had citizenship. He retained political power in Ukraine through his corporate assets, including a large Ukrainian television station.
Kolomoisky is regarded as an ally of Zelensky. Zelensky was an actor before being elected and starred in comedy shows broadcast on the Kolomoisky network. Zelensky’s election is widely regarded as a boon for Kolomsky, especially after the new president appointed Kolomsky’s personal lawyer as his head of government. Some people in the United States doubt Zelensky’s relationship with the tycoon, thinking that this connection runs counter to Zelensky’s commitment to an anti-corruption and reformist agenda.
But since then, Zelensky has not supported the return of control of Privatbank to the oligarch, and he fired the senior assistant. Despite this, Kolomoysky is still very satisfied with the current Ukrainian leader. He returned home from self-exile in Tel Aviv and once again stationed in Kiev to maintain contact with members of the Presidential Palace.
In the spring of 2019, when Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani (Rudolph W. Giuliani) began his mission, urging Zelensky to pass political charges against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son When the investigation came to assist Trump, Giuliani’s accomplices met with Kolomsky and asked Giuliani to sit in-with the rising Ukrainian politicians.
Giuliani’s partners Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman met Kolomoisky in Tel Aviv in April 2019.
After the meeting, two Florida corporate executives accused Kolomoyski of threatening them personally and filed a lawsuit against him in Ukraine. Parnas and Fruman, who assisted the Giuliani Ukraine project in the United States last year, were accused of violating campaign funding in the United States. They deny all wrongdoing.
Giuliani stated that he provided legal advice to Parnas and Fruman in the fight against Kolomoisky. He also tweeted multiple times about his dissatisfaction with Kolomsky in May 2019, just as he put pressure on Zelensky to assist Trump in the Biden investigation. Giuliani once complained that “Kolomoyski’s representative and the enemy of President Trump” had advised Zelensky.
At the same time, Kolomoisky’s lawyer told The Post that during the Tel Aviv meeting, Parnas and Fruman claimed that they could allow senior US officials such as Vice President Pence and then Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to travel to Ukraine during Zelensky’s tenure. Inauguration in May 2019-if Kolomoisky pays them hundreds of thousands of dollars. His lawyer said that Kolomowski did not pay, but drove the two men out of the office.
Attorney Bruce Marks told the Post that Kolomsky had predicted to his friends: “This will lead to a serious scandal.”
Paul Sonne and Julie Tate contributed to this report.