Up to date: 2:12 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. four, 2020
FBI brokers raided a Downtown Cleveland high-rise workplace constructing that has been linked to Ukrainian oligarchs in a 2019 lawsuit alleging cash laundering.
A bureau spokeswoman confirmed brokers had been current at One Cleveland Heart on East ninth Road Tuesday morning. The constructing belongs to Optima Administration Group, an actual property firm that additionally owns 55 Public Sq. and is an investor within the Westin Cleveland lodge.
Brokers additionally raided a constructing in Miami on Tuesday, in line with FBI Cleveland spokeswoman Vicki Anderson. Nobody was taken into custody throughout both raid, she mentioned.
In a May 2019 lawsuit filed in Delaware, Ukrainian industrial lender PrivatBank alleged oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov laundered a whole lot of tens of millions of dollars from the financial institution by way of Optima properties in Cleveland and actual property across the nation.
In response to the lawsuit, the oligarchs used a sophisticated set of monetary transactions to empty the financial institution of cash, funneling the dollars into U.S. actual property holdings together with One Cleveland Heart, 55 Public Sq., the Huntington constructing at 925 Euclid Ave. and the Crowne Plaza, which grew to become the Westin.
Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov had been controlling stockholders of the financial institution from 2006 till 2016, in line with the lawsuit.
In December 2016, the National Bank of Ukraine declared PrivatBank insolvent, and the Ukrainian authorities nationalized it to guard depositors.
Final 12 months, an Optima official denied the lawsuit’s allegations in a statement to Cleveland Scene.
“The allegations on this lawsuit – a part of an orchestrated political assault by a Ukrainian financial institution in opposition to buyers in our thriving companies – are false, defamatory and completely with out advantage,” Chaim Schochet instructed Scene. “We intend not solely to contest however to disprove these reckless allegations, and to exhibit that they’re a part of a smear marketing campaign pushed by a Ukrainian political agenda that we now have nothing to do with.”
ideastream’s cellphone name to Optima Administration Group on Tuesday was not answered.