Andrii Dovbenko, a Ukrainian lawyer and owner of several law firms, has been declared wanted by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) on suspicion of organizing a fraudulent scheme of selling the property seized by the state. The scheme allegedly led by Dovbenko caused the Ukrainian state over $13 million (Hr 485 million) in losses, according to NABU.
Investigators obtained evidence that Dovbenko had led a criminal group of four people accused of the embezzlement of property transferred to the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA).
The scheme involved at least 11 people, including then-director of ARMA and director of SETAM, a state enterprise that handled the sales.
NABU wrote that the group members staged fraudulent auctions to sell the property seized by ARMA to handpicked companies at an undervalued price at least four times in 2019.
Dovbenko was informed of his suspect status in absentia on Dec. 29. In total, eight out of eleven people allegedly involved in the scheme were made suspects, including the ex-head of ARMA, Anton Yanchuk.
ARMA is a state body responsible for finding and managing assets and property seized for corruption and other crimes.
In 2019, Ukrainian investigative journalists identified Dovbenko as involved in fraudulent schemes within the Justice Ministry, which he denied.