Borys Lozhkin: Making Money on PrivatBank

The state has lost 270 mln UAH of national finances and this money is to be compensated to the defendants in the lawsuit with PJSC Commercial Bank PrivatBank (hereinafter PrivatBank) for the resources applied in the litigation. However, such an outcome is not the only one entailed by the decision of the Supreme Court in London that refrained from ruling the litigation between PrivatBank and its former shareholders referring to lack of jurisdiction.

A number of interesting details about the informational support of the legal proceeding were concealed in the ruling process. For instance, the PrivatBank PR campaign was provided by the agency linked to Borys Lozhkin and Ihor Raynin who received remunerations for PrivatBank’s failures in the trials.

To shortly brush up the sequence of the conflict, let me remind you that in the end of 2017 PrivatBank filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court of London against Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov who were former beneficiaries of nationalized PrivatBank. The court ordered to freeze their assets in the amount of more than 2.5 billion USD within the framework of the legal case.

After a year in November 2018 the Supreme Court of London issued a verdict recognizing the case of nationalized PrivatBank to be unsuitable for its jurisdiction. In other words, the Court refused to hear the dispute between PrivatBank and its former owners.

The Supreme Court of London ordered PrivatBank to pay off expenses in the amount of 7.5 mln GBP (that was almost 270 mln UAH) born by the defendants in the litigation. It was said that 144 mln UAH had to be paid off to Igor Kolomoisky until the end of the current year and that information had already been said by a number of media resources.

The claim of PrivatBank was entirely dismissed by the Supreme Court of London and the assets of Mr. Kolomoisky and Mr. Boholyubov were released.

The citation taken out of the official release is given hereinafter:

The Court decided that the international seizure of assets (‘ISA’) was erroneous. PrivatBank intentionally faked the suit in such a way that would give the bank an opportunity to get Mr. Kolomoisky and Mr. Boholyubov involved in the litigation.

The Honorable Mr. Justice Fancourt established the inadmissibility of PrivatBank’s actions representing them as those abusing the rights of Mr. Kolomoisky and Mr. Bogolyubov in accordance with the article 6 of the Lugano Convention ‘On Processing Lawsuits upon Place of Their Registration’

The Honorable M. Justice Fancourt also pointed out a serious non-disclosure of information and its distortion by PrivatBank in its lawsuit. So the ruling for international seizure of assets was rejected.

The preliminarily established amount to be paid to the defendants for covering their expenses was 7.5  mln GBP in total. 4mln GBP out of the total amount had to be paid to Mr. Kolomoisky within 28 days.

So the state represented by PrivatBank had to pay 270 mln UAH to its former shareholders as compensation.

Apparently, the swindle of Hogan Lovells’ lawyers who filed a lawsuit to the British court as well, cost the same amount to be paid by the state.

When it comes to the total amount of money PrivatBank spent on litigation, it had already exceeded 1.4 billion UAH.

To open a new window for the court decision

The journalist of Kyiv Post requesting the information about the PrivatBank strategy in the trial and the amounts of the compensation received the awaited response that was given by the company CFC Consulting. As it turned out, the company was responsible for PR support of PrivatBank in its proceeding against Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov.

Gennadiy Kurocka, founder and managing partner of the CFC Consulting Company, has cooperated with the Presidential Administration for a long time (since 2015 to be exact). He is informally considered to be one of the key elements of the Bankova PR-team. Mr. Kurochka functions as a freelance advisor of Ihor Raynin, Head of the Presidential Administration, and together with Nataliya Popovych they were considered to be co-founders of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre.

The CFC Consulting Company provides GR and PR services and Vasyl Myroshnychenko is one of its partners as well. He is responsible for the British brunch as he studied at London School of Economics. This is the exact educational establishment where former Head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Gontareva has started to work not long ago.

The interesting thing is that the National Bank of Ukraine and PrivatBank were actively looking for a foreign PR agency to support the legal proceeding just before applying to the Supreme Court of London.

In October 2017 I made 2 publications of the letters that were sent to several British journalists on behalf of two PR agencies – BellPottinger and Celicourt – by the same manager Maria Jennings who acted in the best interest of the National Bank of Ukraine. And the services provided by the agency were paid in a really incomprehensible way at that. The payment was done bypassing the tender selection and avoiding the system Prozorro with its pricing references. Even though, the cost of services provided by high-level London PR agencies ranged between 7k GBP and 10k GBP per month.

The appearance of CFC Consulting in the scam of Kurochka and Myroshnychenko that was contracted by neither PrivatBank nor the NBU, suggests an assumption that the PR services were paid through either the lawyers of Hogan Lovells, who had failed the trial in London, or the Ukrainian legal firm Asters that had a contract with the NBU concluded through AlixPartners (in 2017 approximately 20mln EUR was spent by the National Bank of Ukraine on the services of AlixPartners + Asters).

It is not know who of the consulting lawyers chose the pocket PR agency of Mr. Lozhkin to support the legal proceeding in London. Obviously, the choice was not based on the professionalism of CFC Consulting founders who couldn’t even take care of their own reputation.

For instance, Veronika Didusenko, Mr. Kurochka’s mistress, has recently won the beauty pageant ‘Miss Ukraine 2018’. However, she was deprived of the crown because of the lie she was caught in. Veronica forgot to indicate having a son and being divorced in her questionnaire thus violating one of the principal conditions of the contest.

Mr. Kurochka also tried to have his part in the organization of the Eurovision 2017. And he really did it. CFC Consulting and the broadcasting company ‘Ukraine’ signed a contract upon providing PR and information exchange services. The contract was struck through the negotiating procedure by reason of zero competition. The price of the services reached 10mln UAH.

To grade up the public image of the country, Mr. Kurochka wanted to additionally arrange the arrival of the Eurovision contestants by air on a helicopter, despite the warfare status within the state and prohibition of any flights over Kyiv. Ihor Tarnopolskyi, Jamala’s producer, considered such actions as those aimed at embezzlement of the budgetary funds. Mr. Tarnopolskyi also pointed out that Mr. Kurochka worked with Serhiy Proskurnya in pair. The latter one impeded Saakashvili’s protests campaign as directed by that same Mr. Lozhkin.

By the way, CFC Consulting has recently won a tender of another Poroshenko-affiliated ministry – the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine. The company will provide organization services for information and communication campaigns, projects and public events in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The pricing for these services is 1.9mln UAH.

I have sent a request to nationalized PrivatBank in order to find out the information about the payer of the PR support services provided for the legal proceeding in London the bank and its former shareholders are involved in. But the response hasn’t been received for the time being. So I’m still awaiting it. :)

 

I have sent a request to nationalized PrivatBank in order to find out the information about the payer of the PR support services provided for the legal proceeding in London the bank and its former shareholders are involved in. But the response hasn’t been received for the time being. So I’m still awaiting it. :)

 

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Александр Дубинский

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