The U.S. has imposed sanctions against Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, accusing him of corruption.
The charges relate to his tenure as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region in 2014-2015. Also, restrictions have been imposed on his wife, daughter and son. All of them are banned from entering the United States.
"Kolomoyskyy was involved in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes, including using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit. While this designation is based on acts during his time in office, I also want to express concern about Kolomoyskyy’s current and ongoing efforts to undermine Ukraine’s democratic processes and institutions, which pose a serious threat to its future.," said the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in a statement.
Kolomoisky is the owner of the industrial and financial group Privat, which previously included Privatbank, as well as metallurgical and engineering plants in the Dnipropetrovsk , Zaporizhzhia and Odesa regions. As of 2020, he was the eighth richest person in Ukraine, according to Forbes, with a fortune of $1 billion.
Kolomoisky media holdings were associated with the financing of the election campaign of the incumbent President Volodymyr Zelensky. Kolomoisky publicly supported Zelensky before the elections. Reports about Kolomoisky’s support for Zelensky appeared amid his conflict with the previous president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. It began in 2015, after Poroshenko dismissed Kolomoisky from the post of Governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region. The following year, Privatbank, 41% of which belonged to Kolomoisky, was nationalized. The National Bank of Ukraine claimed that the deficit in Privatbank’s balance sheet amounted to more than $5 billion. After that, Kolomoisky left Ukraine and returned only before Zelensky’s inauguration. Zelensky has repeatedly denied any suggestions that he is “Kolomoisky’s man” and is under his influence. In 2020, Ukrainian police executed search warrants in the TV channel "1" owned by Kolomoisky. In May of the same year the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law that effectively prohibited Kolomoisky from restoring his ownership of the nationalized PrivatBank.
In August 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice filed two lawsuits in the District Court of South Florida, which related to the purchase of Kolomoisky and his partner Gennadiy Bogolyubov real estate in Kentucky and Texas. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the money for this purchase was withdrawn from Privatbank, and Kolomoisky laundered these funds by buying these properties. Commercial buildings belonging to Kolomoisky were seazed. In February 2021, it became known that the company associated with Kolomoisky, Optima Ventures, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice demanding compensation of $23 million in damages due to the seizure of these real estate properties.