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Brothers of Medvedchuk, ex-MP Kozak charged in absentia with tax evasion of $1.8 million

by Martin Fornusek June 10, 2024 11:22 AM 2 min read
An SBU officer. Illustrative purposes only. (SBU)
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Two brothers of the former pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmakers, Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak, were charged in absentia with defrauding the state of Hr 75 million ($1.8 million) in taxes, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on June 10.

Serhii Medvedchuk and Bohdan Kozak, who had fled Ukraine, as well as two accomplices, directed the funds to their brothers, who used them namely to finance Russia's war against Ukraine, the State Bureau of Investigation reported.

Before the full-scale invasion, Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak were among the key pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine and ran a media holding Novyny, which was shut down in 2021 over the accusations of promoting pro-Russian propaganda.

Both men have been accused of treason and collaboration with Russia and stripped of Ukrainian citizenship. Taras Kozak fled Ukraine in 2021, while Viktor Medvedchuk was detained and exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners of war in 2022.

According to the investigation, their brothers, Serhii Medvedchuk and Bohdan Kozak, were involved in the scheme between 2017 and 2022 or 2023, "deliberately diverting millions of hryvnias," causing the state a loss of Hr 75 million.

The suspects used a Lviv building materials company which they controlled as the ultimate beneficial owners. At their instructions, the company's management did not officially declare part of their products and illegally sold them to third parties without paying taxes.

Serhii Medvedchuk and Bohdan Kozak were charged with tax evasion, and their suspected accomplices – the director and an accountant of the company– were charged with forgery. They face up to five years in prison.

Russian propaganda sought to cast Medvedchuk as Zelensky’s replacement, WP reports
A Russian propaganda operation was meant to present pro-Kremlin oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk to the international public as a potential replacement for President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Washington Post (WP) reported on June 3, citing undisclosed officials and documents.
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