Ukrainian billionaires suspected of bankrupting steel plant in the US

The Ukrainian billionaires Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Gennadiy Bogolyubov are believed to have bankrupted a major metallurgical plant through fictitious lending schemes in the US, reports.

Three years ago in Warren, Ohio, a steel plant closed down, leaving 200 people without jobs during the cold Midwest winter. A lawsuit was filed in Delaware, claiming that the plant had been the victim of “a series of large-scale, coordinated fraud schemes” orchestrated by Kolomoyskyi and Bogolyubov, which ultimately bankrupted it.

The Ukrainian billionaires created systems of fictitious loans which passed directly through the steel plant, then through a network of “related parties”, and finally to other organizations controlled by the billionaires, the lawsuit states.

“Using these schemes, the respondents unlawfully issued millions of dollars in illegal, inadequately secured loans,” the attorneys claim.

Many of the companies involved in the presumed fraud were also named during the court proceedings. The majority of them are registered in the state of Delaware to Mordechai Korf, a businessman from Florida.

Funds were lent to another respondent company by an investment company controlled by Thomas Barrack, who is known as Trump’s unofficial advisor. Barrack’s company, Colony Capital, declined to comment on a loan to the specialized company Optima 1375, LLC. Powell also declined to comment on the story.

There have been a number of similar lawsuits in several other states and in Europe. A recent case considered by a federal court in Manhattan provided proof of the reports that Kolomoyskyi has been under investigation by the FBI.

During a conference call on September 12, Kolomoyskyi’s lawyers fiercely sought to ensure that the new details uncovered in the investigation did not make it beyond the court. They claimed that there was reason to believe that the leak confirmed that Shulman was threatening to disclose compromising details to the US government “unless Mr. Kolomoyskyi and Mr. Bogolyubov paid him”.

“They didn’t pay him, and we believe that information was passed on to the government,” said attorney Bruce Marks.

“It’s one of the most typical money laundering schemes,” said Shulman’s lawyer during the conference call. She also claimed that the legal team had not disclosed any confidential court documents.

Although the Delaware proceedings and the Trump scandal are both linked to Ukraine, it is unclear whether they overlap. Kolomoyskyi features strongly in both, nevertheless.

Rudy Giuliani spent most of last year trying to convince Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s competitor Joe Biden. Giuliani claimed that Biden used his position as vice president in 2015 to protect a natural gas company, which his son Hunter worked for, from being investigated by Ukraine’s prosecution office. Although Biden has admitted to pressurizing the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor general, there is no concrete proof that he did so in order to protect his son.

  Kolomoyskyi, Bogolyubov, Ukraine