…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
In a high-stakes trial at the High Court in London, Ukraine’s largest bank, JSC Commercial Bank Privatbank, has accused former owners Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov of perpetrating “fraud on an epic scale” and engaging in “money laundering on a vast scale.”
The bank claims that the former owners misappropriated over £1.5 billion (approximately two billion US dollars), leading to the bank’s failure in 2016.
The trial, which began on Monday and is expected to last several months, sees Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov vehemently contesting the allegations.
The Extent of the Alleged Fraud:
According to Andrew Hunter KC, representing Privatbank, the fraud committed by Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov contributed to the bank’s collapse and subsequent nationalization in December 2016.
The bank asserts that the misappropriation involved the extraction of more than 1.9 billion US dollars through a complex network of entities.
Privatbank, now under new ownership and management, launched an investigation that uncovered the alleged fraud.
Hunter stated that there is a substantial body of evidence supporting the bank’s claims against the defendants.
The Trial Proceedings:
Neither Kolomoisky nor Bogolyubov attended the hearing on Monday.
Andrew Hunter contended that their absence allowed them to evade scrutiny as potential “fraudsters, money launderers, and liars.”
He highlighted Kolomoisky’s unconventional communication methods, including eschewing email and relying on a secure telephone network.
Bogolyubov, who has resided in London for nearly a decade, entrusted his affairs to trusted agents based on oral agreements.
Privatbank maintains that the defendants’ conduct resulted in a loss of approximately 1.9 billion US dollars.
Challenges and Counterarguments:
The barristers representing Bogolyubov argued that the bank’s claims are misconceived, pointing out the absence of direct evidence implicating their client in the alleged scheme.
They stressed that the bank’s assumption of his involvement is based on viewing his conduct through English commercial principles, which they assert is an invalid approach.
Kolomoisky’s legal team echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing that the dispute is inherently Ukrainian and that the bank’s case would have failed if pursued in a Ukrainian court.
They stated that Kolomoisky denies any unlawful conduct and challenged the application of Ukrainian law principles in an English court.
The ongoing trial at the High Court in London unveils the allegations of massive fraud and money laundering leveled against former owners Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov by Ukraine’s largest bank, Privatbank.
The trial, expected to span several months, will determine the outcome of these serious accusations.
Both defendants vehemently deny the claims, while the bank presents substantial evidence to support its case.
The proceedings will test the applicability of Ukrainian law in an English court, adding further complexity to the trial.
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