A bespectacled Ukrainian oligarch with a strongman reputation sounded up over and over throughout the Donald Trump impeachment saga.
And now, little-noticed filings in Delaware Chancery Court allege a closer relationship than already known between that oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, and a South Florida businessman who donated to a member of Congress. It’s another example of how people and companies linked to some of the onetime Soviet Union’s most controversial oligarchs end up with connections to Capitol Hill.
In Kolomoisky’s case, this is far from the first congressional relate. In 2017, Rep. Ron Estes( R-KS ) assured a office in the vault of the Capitol Building for a fake congressional hearing. The focus of that hearing: lambasting a former Ukrainian official who impounded dominance of PrivatBank, a bank Kolomoisky had previously owned.
And now a suit filed in Delaware last spring alleges that a South Florida businessman worded Uriel Laber played a key role in an alleged strategy by Kolomoisky to steal billions from that bank.( Laber strongly disavows the allegations .) In 2017 and 2018, Laber handed a total of $2,500 to then-candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell , now a Democratic member of Congress who flipped a Florida seat previously held by Republicans. Mucarsel-Powell sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which helped helm impeachment proceedings targeting President Donald Trump over his adversity campaign against the Ukrainian government. Mucarsel-Powell’s husband previously worked for conglomerates linked to Kolomoisky, as The Daily Beast first reported.
” The Miami Herald a long time ago discredited far-fetched theories involving Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ,” said her spokesman in a statement.” Moreover, one of the first things Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell did in Congress is fight for a invoice to protect our authority from foreign force .”
The oligarch, who has not been charged with a crime in the U.S. or Ukraine, has allies in high places. His TV channel aired the show that propelled Ukraine’s now-president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to fame. And one of Kolomoisky’s former lawyers, Andriy Bohdan, was the president’s joint chiefs of staff until last month. Rudy Giuliani–who was at the center of Trump’s efforts to pressure Zelensky to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden–telegraphed to Ukrainian officials that he missed Bohdan out. However, a advocate for ex-Giuliani associate Lev Parnas told The Daily Beast that Trump’s personal solicitor also delivered a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham( R-SC) yell for imposing sanctions on a host of Kolomoisky’s Ukrainian foes. On the listing: the onetime regulator who was also the target of the Capitol basement fake hearing.
Given Biden’s newfound frontrunner status in the Democratic presidential primary, the Ukraine story is finding its behavior back into the center of American politics after a brief post-impeachment respite. Senate Republican, helmed by Chairman Ron Johnson of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, are ramping up their probe into the work Biden’s son did for a Ukrainian energy company controlled by a different reportedly tainted oligarch.
Laber, are in accordance with accusations in the lawsuit, has a peripheral connection to the long and sprawling epic of PrivatBank. According to the litigation–from a bank now controlled by the Ukrainian government–he frisked a meaningful role in Kolomoisky’s alleged scheme to seize billions from PrivatBank.
Laber’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the suit last year. And a spokesperson for Laber strongly revoked the allegations in a statement to The Daily Beast.
The allegations contained in the May 21 Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit are not only 100% fictitiou and insulting, but the issue is outlandish. Regrettably, people can shape whatever allegations they crave about someone else even when they are not true. This lawsuit is a perfect case in point. Messrs. Laber and Korf are scandalized that the hard-earned reputation they have earned over the last 20 times as honest entrepreneurs can be threatened by a prosecution that is nothing more than a imaginary orchestrated political attack on an investor in our industries. They plan to fight the allegations forcefully and amply expect to be fully cleared of these allegations. With respect to the donations you referenced, Mr. Laber’s recollection is that he made a personal donation of $500 in 2017 and $2000 in 2018 to Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Debbie Powell’s husband was hired by the company of which Messrs. Laber and Korf were owners more than ten years prior to her decision to run for Congress. Mr. Powell stopped working for the company in 2017, of which Messrs. Laber and Korf were owners. Mr. Kolomoiskys company is a shareholder of the company where Mr. Powell used to work. He is not the owner. Mr. Powell did not work for Mr. Kolomoisky; Mr. Kolomoisky has no involvement in any hires or HR decisions.
Mr. Laber does not work for Mr. Kolomoisky and has never worked for Mr. Kolomoisky. Mr. Laber has had a very successful business career alone separate from Kolomoisky and significant sources of his assets and earnings are only separate from Mr. Kolomoisky.
The accusations themselves, leveled against Kolomoisky, Laber, and a number of other parties, are eyebrow-raising. The plaintiffs claim” hundreds of millions of dollars in mars” from unjust enrichment, sham change of monies, and violation of Ohio’s RICO statute( legislation designed to fight organized crime ). Laber and other defendants, the suit alleges, expended millions of ill-gotten dollars to buy Miami real estate.
Laber and other accuseds acted as” trusted lieutenants … in the United Country and abroad” for Kolomoisky and his business partners, the suit alleges.
Kolomoisky has devoted years trying to regain control of the bank. And in his time in public life, he’s gained a honour of using hardball tricks to get what he craves. The litigation said that in one case, Kolomoisky and his business partner” are alleged to have exerted an’ infantry of murderers’ to descend upon a competitor’s plant with baseball bats, gas, rubber handguns, iron tables, and chainsaws .”
Kolomoisky was governor of the provinces and territories in Eastern Ukraine when Russian-backed separatists started a battle there. He applied his billions to fund a private legion that took on those forces. His militarism has also frightened many of his pundits. And while The Wall street Journal dubbed him” Ukraine’s secret weapon” because of that defend, years later he took a much more Kremlin-friendly stance. In an interview with The New York Times in the middle of the impeachment process, he called for Ukraine to seek better relations with Russia, even at the expense of its digest with Western superpowers.
” They’re stronger regardles ,” he said of the Kremlin.