How Boris Lozhkin & Gleb Zagoriy, Ukrainian financiers became the“Shadow behind the scenes” of money laundering schemes viz underground casinos and funds set up to help sick children.
While statesmen tell us how confidently Ukraine is moving towards a bright European future, the number of illegal gambling halls and pawn shops is growing. And near each supermarket, there’s a person who urges passerby’s to donate to the fund to help sick children – though only a small portion of the money collected, ever makes it to the designated sick children.
Fake philanthropist Boris Lozhkin
And what is the easiest way to make money if not the human weaknesses? Gambling, the appeal of easy profits, sympathy, compassion?
These and other, no less profitable but not quite decent things does Boris Lozhkin, the ex-owner of the media Empire and the head of the presidential administration of Ukraine is alleged to coordinate. Today, he is the investor and philanthropist, the founder of his own charity fund.
Boris Lozhkin started as a simple journalist in popular Kharkiv newspaper “Evening Kharkiv”. At the end of 1990, after gaining experience in the media sphere, he founded his own edition “ATV”, and 4 years later — “Telenedelya.”
The newspaper became mega-popular not only in Ukraine but also in the CIS. By 2000, in addition to the “Telenedelya”, he created a few more popular media titles, among which were Ukrainian versions of Russian Newspapers: ‘Arguments and facts’, ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’, ‘Top secret’, and The Magazine ‘Football’ and so on.
All of them were part of one holding called UMH (United Media Holding). Over the next 10 years, it included dozens of resources, including popular Ukrainian and Russian radio stations.
Boris Lozhkin and Petro Poroshenko: a profitable partnership
In 2011, Boris Lozhkin met the future President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who sells to him 50% of the shares of unprofitable ‘Radio 5’. Enterprising Lozhkin manages to create a popular project ‘Retro FM’ on the basis of that radio.
In 2010, the partners buy the assets of another media holding ‘KP Media’ and become co-owners of such popular online publications as korrespondent.net, bigmir.net, i.ua, tochka.net.
It’s noteworthy that Jed Sanden, the direct founder and former owner of KP Media, took the position of the Executive Director of the new entity, and Igor Mazepa’s investment company Concord Capital, acted as an adviser on the transaction. Remember these two names, we’ll return to them later.
“The Mega Deal”: timely sale of UMH
Sergey Kurchenko, an oligarch, close to the family of Yanukovych, bought UMH Group for $ 400 million. For comparison, the Washington Post is estimated at $120 million.
A reasonable question arises – what or who made Kurchenko acquire UMH Group? Actually, Boris Lozhkin did, criticizing Yanukovych’s government in his mass media and thereby provoking the ambitious young oligarch to redeem an uncontrollable resource. The deal has been preparing for 8 months with the help of Igor Mazepa. If you can’t silence them- buy them off.
How a reformer become a philanthropist
After being appointed as a head of president Poroshenko’s administration, Boris Lozhkin initiated reforms. But personnel, policy and public procurement reforms failed and in 2016 Petro Poroshenko dismissed the head of the presidential administration. However, Poroshenko appointed him as the Secretary of the National Investment Council, which he headed.
The media business is not the only thing that Boris Lozhkin is interested in. His family owns shares in the largest chain of stores “Luxoptika”. And it is more than 100 opticians all over Ukraine.
In 2014, the head of the presidential administration founded a charity fund, which organizes auctions for the purchase of medical equipment for children’s hospitals, in particular, the Center for children’s surgery and cardiology.
A good intention – you may think, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The medical charity, supported by access to budget money, connections and administrative resources, is a very profitable business in the Ukraine. One can earn hundreds of millions a year, supplying medical equipment.
But that’s half the trouble. It’s worse when huge sums are laundered under the guise of helping sick children.
Almost immediately after its establishment, the charity Fund of Boris Lozhkin took control of another charitable organization, “Tabletochki”, which supports and finances the treatment of children with cancer. In addition to the family Lozhkin, “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”) is also being supported by the family of Gleb Zagoriy, the owner of the pharmaceutical company “Darnitsa” and the people’s deputy of the BPP faction.
Worth noting, the Trustee Board of “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”) includes: Boris Lozhkin; Gleb Zagoriy’s wife; businesswoman Anna Sanden (judging from the name, she is related to Jed Sanden, a man who sold “KP Media” to Lozhkin); Evgeny Chernyak, the owner of Global Spirits holding; Oksana Korchynska, the head of the Supervisory Board of the clinic “Okhmatdet”; the flamboyant businessman Garik Korogodsky and Serhii Sviriba, a managing partner of the law firm “Asters”; Boris Lozhkin and the Trustee Board of “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”) charity Fund.
Analyzing the activities of “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”), one can observe the Fund takes custody of only those patients who are already in the official queue of the Ministry of Health for funding.
Of course, the money given by the state is not enough for a full course treatment, that’s why “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”) attract external financing. But as a result, significant amounts are being given, because the money is transferred both by the state and by the Fund. Where are the excess funds?
Nationwide scam — a lottery ‘Kosmolot’
Gleb Zagoriy and Boris Lozhkin start to earn not only on the medical business but also on gambling one, namely, on the national lottery. The beneficiaries of the “Kosmolot” and “UNL” companies are Boris Lozhkin, Gleb Zagoriy and Alexander Tretyakov who earn UAH 10 billion. But that’s not all. Within the next lottery of “Komolot”, the winner of the main prize of UAH 500 thousand donates all the money…to the “Tabletochki”(“Tablets”).
What’s this – a miracle, an unexpected generosity from the average Ukrainian or is it just simple money laundering from the banned gambling business through the charity fund?
Well, apparently, such miracles will happen as long as the key processes in the Ukraine continue to be managed by individuals such as Boris Lozhkin.