Ihor Kolomoyskyi was accused of fraud and legalization of property obtained by crime. Prosecutors have also submitted a request for preemptive measure (detention) against him.
A former owner of one of the largest Ukrainian banks, Privatbank, Kolomoyskyi laundered billions of UAH before 2015. He withdrew over $30 million of depositors’ funds and issued them as loans to fictitious legal entities. The state had to nationalize the insolvent bank and finance it in 2016 to avoid larger economic losses since it was one of the main banks in Ukraine.
The US Department of State sanctioned Kolomoyskyi on 5 March 2021 due to his involvement in “significant corruption” as governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk Oblast from 2014 to 2015. The move was interpreted as a signal to Zelenskyy to take his own actions against one of the most powerful Ukrainian oligarchs, especially given speculations that Kolomoyskyi supported Zelenskyy during the 2019 elections since Zelenskyy worked at Kolomoysky’s 1+1 TV Channel before and the channel actively advocated for Zelenskyy during the campaign.
The recent suspicion issued by Ukraine’s Security Service and Bureau of Economic Security to Kolomoyskyi brings one step further the ongoing investigation against him. In 2021 and then during the full-scale war, the Ukrainian government and anti-corruption institutions introduced several tough measures that significantly diminished the previous influence of oligarchs, including the nationalization of property strategical for war, criminal cases, and the ban on oligarchs to control media and support political parties simultaneously.