Money is not Smelly: Igor Mazepa Does Business with Russians and Militants in Donbas

February 12, 2019 5:47 am190 commentsViews: 225

The Russian reality often lays his head down in Ukraine. The chaff but not the wheat germinates in our chernozem soil – regimes with the Kremlin’s picks, adherents of “Russian World”, and employ corrupt practices carefully drafted in “down-to-the-curb”. Unscrupulous individuals adjust those schemes to the Ukrainian realities. Moreover, some players are a hell of the card sharks and they have managed to dwarf their creators. Here is Igor Mazepa’s case – a very creative experience of the founder and the Director-General of the investment fund Concorde Capital.

Pavlo Krymov, Forex Trend, PrivateFX – the Cards of the Same Deck

Some days ago, the Russian RBC published the report about Pavlo Krymov’s arrest at Sheremetyevo Airport that shed light on this story. Pavlo Krymov was the subject of an international search warrant for massive ongoing fraud. In 2009, he founded the Forex Trend Company that was submitted as the international Forex broker – the currency exchange market where you get to profit from exchange rate movements between different currencies, as the magazine says.

In fact, the company has been a pyramid scheme that has been working for a long time in the territories of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and even Europe. The jilted investors evaluated the loss in merely $30 million. In February of 2015, Forex Trend was included in the Center for the Regulation of OTC Financial Instruments and Technologies’ (CRFIT) blacklist.

At that time, Krymov gave an interview and described another Forex-dealer – PrivateFX. The company was introduced to the investors as their lifeboat – it should have helped investors to recover the funds. Krymov, as he put it, was invited to advising a new draft.

Indecent Proposal” to Accept

PrivateFX’s clients got the proposition of topping up an account by the same amount that has been banished from the Forex Trend Limited’s account. Therefore, the Forex Trend’s clients’ deposits doubled. Those sums of money were placed under control of the trader’s trustee. The clients were promised to get a percentage of the profits”, for details see the material.

From there it is interesting. Igor Mazepa founded PrivateFX in 2015. As he was a True Connoisseurs of trading with Russians, he appointed a Russian citizen Roman Karaulov, a President’s Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights in RF and a Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s close friend, as a company’s affiliate in Ukraine.

Mazepa’s company got the bankrupt broker’s client base and proposed the cheated investors to return money in the same way above that had been called “1+1”. In other words, if you want to get your money back, you have to pay as much. Ironically, the investors that had been cheated once credited them again.

Later, the survey was conducted on Twitter, where 74% of those woebegone investors told that they accepted their terms because they were buying into Igor Mazepa’z name, as Capital says. The Concorde Capital Head’s good image (at that time) was stacked against them. PrivateFX didn’t return investments and doubled the financial pyramid – the gullible players’ losses multiplied at once. The initiative group is still picketing Igor Mazepa’s offices requesting for recovering everything stolen.

For its part, the PrivateFX’s owner denies his responsibility and even dissociates himself integrally from any partnership with Forex Trend, presenting his company as “completely his thing”. However, the documents in the Cypriot register of entities indicate otherwise. PrivateFX belonged to the Cypriot Skopalino Finance Limited (Krymov founded it). Over time, the offshore was rebranded as Concorde Investments Limited, where Igor Mazepa is a co-founder via one more Cypriot firm Avalia Investments Limited.

“War of the Worlds” – New Reckoning

In spring, in 2017, mass media informed that Igor Mazepa had sold PrivateFX because “his investments have fallen short of expectations”. PrivateFX’s website stopped working; the victims’ forum replaced it. The injured persons’ accurate number could be hardly known but the total number those posts’ hits is up to 6 000.

In July, in 2108, the forum moderator posted the article about a law company Eterna Law’s (with their offices in both Kyiv and Moscow) tries “suddenly to address the swindled Forex Trend, Pantheon Finance, and PrivateFX investors’ problems”. The forum admin has displayed the screenshot of the correspondence where the law company claims that acts on behalf of Igor Mazepa and threatens the users blaming them in the denigration and blackmailing Concorde Capital and its owner himself.

In case of the further mass dissemination of negative information about Igor Mazepa, those responsible will be held accountable”, the letter said. By the way, the Eterna Law’s attorney considers being the blackmail the victims’ promises of providing information “the highest political levels” and starting the informational campaign that would put an end to Igor Mazepa, Concorde Capital, and other affiliates’ illegal activity.

Igor Mazepa amongst Friends

Igor Mazepa dissociates itself integrally from the Russian payment system QIWI that is forbidden in Ukraine. His TYME Company had been performing of this brand in 2014. Around the Ukrainian sanctions, this company proceeded with money transfers, worked with The Golden Crown and Contact – the payment systems from the blacklist.

Concorde Capital Head’s friends in high places led by Boris Lozhkin let this business flourish. In 2013, Igor Mazepa’s investment fund helped him to sell the Ukrainian media holding (UMH group) to the oligarch from the Party of Regions Sergey Kurchenko. At that time, Igor Mazepa was a member of the UkrExemeBank Observatory and provided a credit of $160 million to the buyer. When Boris Lozhkin was appointed as the president Poroshenko’s chief of staff, he got some good licks in.

Igor Mazepa was promoted to advisor and the opportunity to put his people to the government and key state entities appeared. Besides, he could do business via any methods. Igor Mazepa publicly stated that he didn’t follow the law but his own concept of using the inside information (American Securities and Exchange Commission blamed his companies in the fraud in the stock market) and running a Ponzi scheme. Besides, he declared that has a right to do Business with Russia, DNR and LNR’s terrorists, and even to drive drunk.

The thing is, Igor Mazepa owns TYME via one more his company – OMP-2013. The authors of the investigative journalists’ program X-Files on the 2+2 Channel revealed that OMP-2013 owns the net of payment service terminals on the rogue territory of SALDR. The head of the Deputies Control Secretariat Vadim Rudenko explained that there are the companies that finance terrorism or engaged in business practices in the zone of anti-terrorist operation. They need to deliver cash there. They can’t send parcels there that’s why they use various converting centers and platforms to put hryvnia on the appropriate accounts. As a result, the Ukrainian currency is on the payment terminals’ accounts and they get cashback from those terminals.

In June, in 2018, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that one of the Russian payment systems that are forbidden in Ukraine uses the international system TYME for money transfers in order not to get to the blacklist. Only then, the National Bank blocked the payment system. Igor Mazepa was rather predictable in this situation. “The TYME payment system is one of our investments. We own the minor part of it and do not proceed with its operational activity”, Concorde Capital’s press office claims.

Igor Mazepa: Unsinkable and Useful

Amazingly, Igor Mazepa always escapes with slight shock despite the foreign and Ukrainian (that happens much less often though) law enforcement agencies’ interest. He purchases assets, sucks ’em dry and then resells them when getting too close to illegitimacy. It continues even now after his Moscow friends have got off. Boris Lozhkin reinvented himself as a businessperson, Gontareva left NBU, and Nasirov went into presidency out of SFS.

However, the oligarchs that are indebted to Igor Mazepa are still at the helm. He did a little this notorious privatization and re-partition of the public property in 90-s. He purchased the energetic entities for Rinat Akhmetov and promoted him and Victor Pinchuk to be the first owners of Krivorozhstal. He also enlarged Sergey Kurchenko’s media assets and serviced Igor Kolomoisky. He owns 9.23% of the shares of the PrivatBank in Latvia that has not been nationalized yet. Now they help him earn and pull money out of the air, in the words of Igor Mazepa.

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