On July 15, 2022, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) notified the ex-chairman of PrivatBank, his ex-first deputy, and the active head of a bank's department of suspicion of embezzling UAH 85.2 million in favor of a controlled company.
According to the investigation, the PrivatBank chairman, his first deputy, and two heads of the bank's departments, in December 2016, the day before PrivatBank was declared insolvent, using fake documents, paid out about UAH 223 million to the companies controlled by and connected with the bank. The funds were transferred in several tranches to two companies: one got UAH 85.2 million and another - UAH 136.8 million.
As for the embezzlement of UAH 136.8 million, NABU already notified three persons of suspicion in February 2021. The investigation further discovered evidence of embezzling yet more than UAH 85 million.
The participants in the scheme subsequently transferred the embezzled funds abroad for their laundering.
On July 15, NABU and SAPO notified the head of the bank's operational department of suspicion (Part 5 Article 191, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). On the same day, the already established participants in the PrivatBank embezzlement scheme were served with updated suspicion notices, namely:
- the ex-chairman of PrivatBank (Part 5 Article 191, Part 1, 2 Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine);
- the ex-first deputy chairman of PrivatBank (Part 5 Article 191, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine);
- the former head of the Financial Management Department of PrivatBank (Part 5 Article 191, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine);
- the former head of the Interbank Operations Department of PrivatBank (Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
NABU and SAPO are investigating one more episode related to the embezzlement of PrivatBank funds. In December 2016, on the eve of the nationalization of PrivatBank, the then Chairman of the Board of the bank ordered to transfer USD 314.9 million from a correspondent account opened in one of the European banks as repayment of debt on previously issued letters of credit to two agro-traders.
To cover up the actual embezzlement of PrivatBank's funds and give the appearance of legality to this criminal scheme, the bank's top managers forged documents and carried out fictitious lending to a legal entity related to the bank. Thus, the entity became a debtor for exactly the amount that had been withdrawn due to the repayment of letters of credit to other companies.
In total, six persons have been charged in three episodes of the PrivatBank case: the former chairman of PrivatBank, two of his ex-deputies, one active and two former heads of departments. The former chairman of PrivatBank is a suspect in all episodes related to the embezzlement of funds.
The pre-trial investigation is ongoing. Other persons who may be involved in the commission of PrivatBank offences are being established.
According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered non-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.