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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Alleges $1.1Bln Laundered

KIEV — Ukrainian prosecutors on Friday accused the company once led by the country’s deputy prime minister of illegally siphoning abroad more than $1.1 billion.

Deputy chief prosecutor Mykola Obykhod said at a news conference that the funds from Ukraine’s power grid, Unified Energy Systems, were transferred in 1996 to 1997, adding that up to $100 million were sent to accounts owned by former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko.

Lazarenko has fled Ukraine and is currently being held in a U.S. jail on charges of conspiring to launder $114 million in bribe money.

Julia Tymoshenko, a former Lazarenko ally who is now serving as deputy prime minister in charge of the energy sector, led UES at the time of the alleged transfers.

Last month, the Prosecutor General’s Office started a criminal case against Tymoshenko’s husband, Oleksandr, a top UES executive, and Valeriy Falkovych, the company’s director and a close friend.

Oleksandr Tymoshenko and Falkovych were accused of misappropriating state funds in metal-trading deals in 1990, and Falkovych was also accused of illegally transporting Russian natural gas worth 3 billion hryvna ($543.3 million) to Britain in 1996 to 1997.

Tymoshenko contends the case against her husband and Falkovych is politically motivated revenge for her reforms in the energy sector and an attempt to force her out of government so as to block the reforms.