Kroll report backs PrivatBank fraud claims
UK court freezes former shareholders’ assets; new CEO appointed by supervisory board.
Ukrainian authorities have received support for their case against former shareholders of nationalized lender PrivatBank from investigators at US consultancy Kroll, according to the country’s central bank.
On January 16, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) published key findings from a report by Kroll that backed allegations of large-scale fraud at PrivatBank, which was taken over by the state in December 2016.
These include claims by employees that the bank acted as a “vacuum cleaner”, with business development geared towards attracting deposits that were then dispersed as loans to companies related to the bank’s owners, Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov.
According to Kroll, a “loan recycling scheme” was devised to conceal the fraud, whereby new loans were continually issued to new related parties to repay the principal and interest on older loans.
Multiple internal transactions within the Privat group, including between the Ukrainian operation and units in Cyprus and Latvia, were also reportedly used to disguise fund flows.
“[This] demonstrated the characteristics of a large-scale coordinated money-laundering scheme,” NBU officials said in the report presentation.
The summary of Kroll’s findings also described a “shadow banking structure” in PrivatBank’s head office in Dnipro.