Former Zelensky backer charged over EMBEZZLEMENT of $250M from Ukrainian bank
09/11/2023 // Ramon Tomey // Views

A billionaire businessman who helped propel Volodymyr Zelensky's political career has been charged with fraud after illegally seizing funds from a Ukrainian bank.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) charged oligarch Igor Kolomoysky with embezzlement on Sept. 7, alongside five other unnamed suspects. The businessman and his accomplices reportedly seized more than 9.2 billion Ukrainian hryvnias ($250 million) from the Ukrainian lender PrivatBank in 2015. The illegal seizures sought to finance his dealings and increase his share in the bank's authorized capital.

A NABU statement published on Telegram said Kolomoysy, the ultimate beneficial owner of the bank at the time, then forced PrivatBank to pay this sum to a specific company under his control. This was done under the pretext of supposedly buying out its own bonds at an inflated cost.

Ukrainian authorities nationalized PrivatBank in 2016 amid allegations of massive fraud.

Kolomoysky rose to prominence in 2014 when he was appointed governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk province, following the Maidan Revolution that year. However, he was dismissed a year later amid a conflict with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

He later emerged as a figure that played a key role in Zelensky, formerly a comedian, ascending to the presidency. The series "Servant of the People," which starred the current president and was produced by his Kvartal 95 studio, aired on the 1+1 TV channel – of which Kolomoysky is a majority shareholder. (Related: Zelensky buys LUXURY MANSION in Egypt via his mother-in-law using Western aid money.)

However, Kolomoysky has denied close ties to Zelensky.

Kolomoysky earlier charged with money laundering

A week prior, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Kolomoysky was also suspected of laundering and siphoning off millions from the state. According to a Sept. 2 statement by the agency, the oligarch allegedly embezzled more than 500 million hryvnias ($13.5 million) by "transferring it abroad, while using the infrastructure of banking institutions controlled by him." The SBU statement said Kolomoysky was also suspected of fraud, and legalization of property obtained by criminal means.

Kolomoysky, who also holds Cypriot and Israeli citizenship, was described in the statement as the "de facto owner of a large financial and industrial group." The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (OPG) also confirmed the investigation on the oligarch, remarking that he was "served with a motion to choose pre-trial restrictive measures." According to Russia Today, the OPG is "continuing its probe into the matter" alongside the SBU and the Ukrainian Economic Security Bureau.

Local media reports said SBU operatives searched Kolomoysky's home in early February. The raid reportedly focused on his potential involvement in corruption at the Ukrtatnafta and Ukrnafta oil companies. The oligarch allegedly played a role in the embezzlement of 40 billion hryvnias ($1.1 billion) and evasions of customs duties by the two firms.

Kolomoysky was taken into custody on Sept. 2, with a court sentencing him to two months' jail time. His bail was set at 509 million hryvnias ($13.8 million). His legal team said he would appeal the ruling on his arrest.

Visit for more stories about corruption in Ukraine.

Watch this video expounding on the connection between Igor Kolomoysky, Volodymyr Zelensky and Hunter Biden.

This video is from the NemosNewsNetwork channel on

More related stories:

Zelensky and his cronies are trying to cover up a major corruption scandal in Ukraine – what role is the US playing?

Where are the tens of billions being spent in Ukraine really going? Analysis dares to ask the tough questions.

Is Zelensky corrupt? He amassed an $850 million personal fortune in the years before the war with Russia.

Zelensky's military chiefs buy luxury cars, opulent properties in Spain while soldiers die in war with Russia.

Ukrainian veterans detail how Kyiv plundered U.S. aid while wasting soldiers and endangering civilians.

Sources include: 1 2

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