The Ukrainian government has allowed the Ministry of Justice to engage a legal advisor to defend the state in an Oleh Zhukovsky’s $300 million lawsuit filed on January 4 this year against the National Bank of Ukraine with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. According to an explanatory note to the document, the National Bank received a statement of claim on February 5 this year, after which it turned to the Ministry of Justice for help. On March 11, an interdepartmental working group was created to protect the interests of the state in this case, which considered it necessary to involve the advisor.
According to the lawsuit, Zhukovsky is seeking to recover $102.2 million of the principal amount of the debt and the interest, penalties and fines on deposits in Brokbusinessbank, invested by companies ZUKK Trading Limited, Intertransgroup LLC and ex-MP from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc Mykola Kovzel and his assistant Vitaliy Didylivsky in 2012-2013. They transferred the rights to compensation for losses to Zhukovsky, who engaged Shutts & Bower in the lawsuit.
It claims that the officials of the National Bank were “accomplices” of the scheme for allegedly withdrawing money from Brokbusinessbank by business man Serhiy Kurchenko, and after a part of the funds in the amount of $172 million was returned as a result of special confiscation in 2017, they sent them to pay interest on eurobonds of Ukraine to American mutual funds including Franklin Templeton Investments, T. Rowe Price and TCW.
According to the lawsuit, criminal cases of embezzlement related to the case are being investigated in Ukraine and the United States, which corroborates the plaintiff’s charges. In addition to Brokbusinessbank and Kurchenko, who bought it in 2013 without the permission of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine and his Real Bank, the plaintiff also accuses ex-Governor of the National Bank Serhiy Arbuzov, who allegedly assisted them and Ihor Sorkin, who replaced him, as well as Viktor Yanukovych, who was then President of Ukraine. The list of those involved also included Valeriya Gontareva, who became governor of the NBU after the escape of Yanukovych, under whom the deposits in Brokbusinessbank could not be returned.
In addition, the list of those involved contains ex-owners of PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov, their American partners Mordechai Korf and Uriel Laber, companies from the Optima group, as well as Ukrnafta and PrivatBank. The lawsuit alleges that the ex-owners of PrivatBank were involved in laundering Kurchenko’s money and buying real estate in the United States using this money.