Saturday, May 1, 2021

Will We Ever Find The Looted Billions The IMF Sent To Ukraine? Ihor Kolomoisky's Adventures In America

We've been trying to figure out who Kolomoisky tainted and it appear to include everyone from Victora Nuland who just became the highest ranking careerist in the State Department to Donald Trump to the Biden's.
But then a $5 billion cash honeypot is apt to, people.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has done an astoundingly thorough job of turning up facts and figures on one part of the story of a very, very bad person.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 16:

Dirty Dollars
Accused money launderers left a path of bankrupt factories, unpaid taxes, shuttered buildings and hundreds of steelworkers out of jobs

By Michael Sallah   

A Post-Gazette Investigation

Years after back-to-back explosions at an aging steel factory in northern Ohio tossed workers into guardrails with bloodied faces and deep burns, the leaders of the facility met in Pittsburgh to decide the future of the company.

They summoned a new plant manager to a private aviation center at Pittsburgh International Airport in 2013 to look for ways to improve the troubled facility and increase output.

But it wasn’t the sale of steel that would keep the money flowing into the mill.

Hundreds of millions of dollars had been stolen from a Ukraine bank — the losses large enough to cripple the country’s economy — and secretly moved into the United States, where the money was used to pump up the cash reserves of Warren Steel in a money laundering scheme carried out across the country, the U.S. Justice Department alleges.

Prosecutors say Ukraine oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, a powerful figure in his country who was banned last month by the State Department from entering the United States, secretly purchased a dozen other steel mills in small towns from Ohio to Texas.

In all, he and his associates acquired nearly two dozen properties, including four office towers in downtown Cleveland and a 484-room hotel with waterfront views in what became the foundation of his real estate empire.

While federal agents tracked millions to the properties, the money that poured into the Ohio steel facility would become key evidence in one of the first money laundering investigations involving the U.S. steel industry, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigation found.

Bank records, emails and other critical documents were turned over to a federal grand jury examining the finances of the Ohio mill that prosecutors say became a conduit for tens of millions of dollars siphoned from PrivatBank in Ukraine, according to two sources familiar with the probe.

The explosions and breakdowns in safety underscore the dangerous impact that financial crimes like money laundering can have on everyday people — cost-cutting, neglect and a lack of investment — when buildings and workplaces are used to clean cash.

It also reveals how a foreign operator — a target of a corruption probe in his own country — could stake a claim in the U.S. steel industry at a time it’s considered vital to the national security of the United States.

With prosecutors now trying to seize some of the properties, former steelworkers in the city of Warren say they’re still angry over what they described as decrepit and unsafe conditions that led to devastating injuries.

“They destroyed the lives of a lot of people,” said Brian Shaffer, 53, a millwright who suffered severe injuries in one of the blasts. “I don’t know how they got away with what they got away with.”

Federal safety inspectors turned up serious violations in the facility while state environmental agents found rampant hazardous waste problems that remained for years.

Mr. Shaffer, who is disabled and walks with a cane, said he arrived at the Ohio plant after one of the explosions and placed a co-worker on a medical helicopter as his skin was peeling from his forearm and blood was oozing from his eye. “It’s the most god-awful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said.

The Post-Gazette obtained hundreds of previously sealed court documents and sworn statements, reviewed federal workplace safety reports and environmental inspections, and conducted interviews with nearly a dozen former employees who worked at facilities owned by Mr. Kolomoisky and his partners to gain a greater understanding of a global money laundering case that went deep into the U.S. heartland.

So far, the allegations against the oligarch and others have been raised in civil forfeiture lawsuits, but recently prosecutors asked a federal judge to temporarily halt the proceedings so they could press forward with the criminal case.

Mr. Kolomoisky, 58, a mercurial figure in Ukraine who once funded his own militia to fend off pro-Russian insurgents, did not respond to repeated interview requests.

Known for his tough tactics, he built a fortune in the free-for-all economy that followed the demise of the Soviet Union, launching companies in metals, energy and aviation before embarking on his spending spree in the United States from 2006 to 2016.

His criminal defense lawyer in the United States, Michael J. Sullivan, did not return messages, but in prior interviews with reporters, he denied all the allegations....


Some of our previous posts:
Ukraine: "Ex-Privatbank CEO Named as Suspect in $5.5 Billion Fraud Case"
It's been seven years since the Maidan and it's about time we find out where all the money went.

"Ukraine Oligarch’s Troubled US Steel Plant Has Been Quietly Mining Bitcoin: Report"
We may be hearing more about this master thief in the coming months.

As the Department of Justice works through the cases - and I hope to hell we get a special prosecutor, the magnitude of what was going on in Ukraine gets quite impressive.

"Oligarchs Weaponized Cyprus Branch of Ukraine’s Largest Bank to Send $5.5 Billion Abroad"

"Ukraine Probes Ruling that State-Run Bank Must Pay $350m to Oligarchs"

Federal agents raid offices of company tied to Ukrainian oligarch

Glenn Greenwald's Co-Founder of "The Intercept", eBay Billionaire Pierre Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolution Groups With US Government 

"How $1.8 billion in aid to Ukraine was funneled to the outposts of the international finance galaxy"

Last Wednesday I dropped a little Easter Egg because I wasn't sure if I should do anything further:
"Latvia wants foreigners to stop buying land"
Meanwhile, as part of the IMF shenanigans in Ukraine a land reform package was required which basically meant Ukraine had to sell land to foreigners to get the latest multi-billion dollar loan....

That's it, one little sentence.

So we'll begin with some background. This is far from the whole story because quite a bit has been learned in the intervening years but it's a good place to start.
Two things to keep in mind:
1) Ukraine is the most corrupt place in Europe (outside Brussels)
2) Nothing is as it seems. 

Who Owns Ukraine's Farmland?

 As mentioned yesterday, that was the simple question yours truly asked before stumbling into the rabbit hole of "Why Was The American Government Training Neo-Nazis In Ukraine?".

The reason for the original query was the mandate from the IMF that in return for one of the tranches of  multi-billion dollar loans related to the whole PrivatBank theft, money laundering, Maidan, Victoria Nuland web of lies and corruption that Ukraine allow foreigners to buy farmland.

Some really good farmland, by all accounts.

Farmlandgrab keeps track of this stuff all over the world and a couple of their posts give a quick overview of what's what.

Here is one part of the puzzle, not the stuff that attracts the foreign money:....