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SBU charges managers of wanted oligarch's company with embezzlement

by Martin Fornusek June 29, 2023 5:41 PM 2 min read
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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on June 29 that it charged six people over embezzling Hr 400 million ($10.9 million) at the Poltava Mining and Processing Plant (HZK).

The plant is part of the Ferrexpo group, which belongs to the Ukrainian businessman, billionaire, and former parliament deputy Kostiantyn Zhevago. The oligarch has been involved in numerous domestic and international fraud and corruption cases.

According to the SBU, the suspects were selling extracted raw materials without the proper permit to an affiliate commercial entity at an artificially low cost. Then they re-sold the material already at a market-level price, the investigators wrote.

The scheme supposedly took place between 2019-2022. The suspects were reporting incorrect financial data to hide their activities, the SBU explained.

As the perpetrators, the SBU listed the director of the HZK, his representative, the chief accountant, the head of sales, as well as a former director and chief accountant of the associated firm.

On Feb. 2, the SBU charged the chief accountant of the HZK with tax evasion and forgery.

The HZK's owner Zhevago was charged with embezzling and laundering $113 million at Finance & Credit Bank in 2019. In 2021, he was put on the Interpol wanted list. He continues to reside in France as a French court has ruled against his extradition.

The wanted oligarch is also linked to the scandal surrounding Vsevolod Kniaziev, the former head of Ukraine's Supreme Court, who was charged with corruption on May 16 and faces up to 12 years in prison.

Supreme Court votes to dismiss chief alleged of taking a $3 million bribe
A plenary meeting of Ukraine’s Supreme Court has voted to dismiss the court’s head, Vsevolod Kniaziev, who was earlier detained for allegedly receiving a $3 million bribe.

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