The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint on Jan. 20, with the intention of seizing $6 million from Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky's businesses, allegedly obtained with money stolen and laundered from PrivatBank.
Federal prosecutors say Kolomoisky's businesses received the $6 million as proceeds from the sale of an office building in Dallas that was bought and improved with laundered money.
U.S. federal officials accused Kolomoisky and his associates of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen money through his web of companies in the U.S. that own commercial and industrial properties in numerous states.
A total of $5.5 billion was allegedly stolen through insider lending schemes from PrivatBank, Ukraine's biggest lender, when Kolomoisky and fellow oligarch Gennadiy Boholyubov used to own it. The bank was nationalized in 2016.
“The complaints allege that they laundered a portion of the criminal proceeds using an array of shell companies’ bank accounts, primarily at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch, before they transferred the funds to the United States,” the Justice Department stated.
Kolomoisky has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. He has said that his U.S. properties were bought with money he made from legitimate business deals.
This is the fourth civil forfeiture action against Kolomoisky and his companies. The previous three complaints targeted the oligarch's commercial real estate in Dallas, Louisville and Cleveland.
In civil forfeiture, law enforcement officials seize assets believed to be associated with criminal activity. Kolomoisky and his associates have not been charged with a crime but the forfeiture complaints directly accuse the oligarch of fraud and money laundering. Kolomoisky remains under federal investigation and experts believe that criminal charges are a matter of time.
In March, Kolomoisky and his family were banned from the U.S., which accused the oligarch of "significant corruption" when he governed Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in 2014-2015.