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Israeli court says Kolomoisky case has grounds but denies jurisdiction

by Martin Fornusek June 2, 2023 5:31 PM 2 min read
A woman passes by PrivatBank 's office in downtown Kyiv on Dec. 15, 2021. (Volodymyr Petrov)
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A court in Israel has confirmed that PrivatBank has sufficient grounds for a fraud case against its former owners, Hennadii Boholiubov and the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, the bank announced in a press release on June 2.

However, the court also ruled that Israel is not the proper jurisdiction for the case, adding it should be considered in Ukraine.

The court ruled that "PrivatBank duly proved that during the time of ownership by Mr. Kolomoisky and Mr. Boholiubov, funds from it were withdrawn to Israel through a series of complex and carefully thought-out transfers," the press release said.

The bank claims that the two businessmen misappropriated at least $600 million from its funds in the period from 2007 to 2011.

The Israeli court criticized the former owners for not providing any factual data in their defense and not appearing for cross-examination. It has also rejected their claim of "persecution" by the Ukrainian authorities, saying it only weakens their case.

PrivatBank filed the lawsuit in Israel against its ex-owners on Dec. 18, 2019.

The financial and industrial group Privat, of which Kolomoisky and Boholiubov are the co-owners, operated the bank from its founding in 1992 until 2016.

In 2016, the National Bank of Ukraine declared PrivatBank insolvent due to its high capital losses and the government moved to nationalize the bank.

The former owners appealed to the Supreme Court against the government's decision but lost their case in July 2022.

Kolomoisky was sanctioned by the U.S. State Department in March 2021 for alleged corruption, and Ukraine's government reportedly stripped him of citizenship in July 2022.

He now holds Israeli and Cypriot citizenship.

US prosecutors move to seize $6 million from Kolomoisky in Texas
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 t…

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