• The Financial District


For more than a decade, the Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky siphoned off billions of dollars from PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest financial institution, which he co-owned, in an audacious laundering scheme, cleaning the money through a web of companies around the world, US federal prosecutors allege. 

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shows that Deutsche Bank, the troubled global lender, played a pivotal role, transferring more than $750 million to Kolomoisky’s business interests in the United States, Michael Sallah and Tanya Kozyreva reported for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Criminals and others seeking to hide illicit money in the US often plow it into glittering high-rises in New York, or use it to buy billionaire playthings, like yachts and expensive jewelry. Kolomoisky, who played a peripheral role in the Donald Trump impeachment drama, had a different prize in mind: real estate in the American heartland. Over a decade, he and his associates secretly amassed a real estate empire, buying at least 22 properties, including a skyscraper in Cleveland with vaulted ceilings that featured one of the largest bank lobbies in the world, a shuttered Motorola facility rising from the farm fields of northern Illinois and the former headquarters of Mary Kay Cosmetics in Dallas. 

In his wake, Kolomoisky and his associates left a trail of empty, boarded-up buildings, unpaid property taxes, dangerous factory conditions, unemployed workers, and at least four steel mills that filed for bankruptcy, ICIJ found.

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