Businessmen accused of Ukraine money laundering gave millions to New York charities
Dozens of New York’s Jewish organizations have had their bottom lines bolstered by two businessmen accused of laundering billions for a Burisma-connected Ukrainian oligarch, public records show.
Mordechai Korf, 48, and Uri Laber, 49, have shelled out more than $11 million to nearly 70 yeshivas and religious charities in Brooklyn and across the state, according to federal tax filings.
But Korf and Laber are more than just generous benefactors: since 2006, the Miami-based pair have allegedly been middlemen for Ukrainian billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky, funneling $4 billion of his ill-gotten gains to buy property and businesses in the U.S, according to three civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in Florida federal court.
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken banned Kolomoisky and his immediate family from America, citing Kolomoisky’s “significant corruption.” The billionaire has long been accused of repeatedly raiding PrivatBank, a Ukrainian bank he once co-owned, legal filings show.
Kolomoisky, who built his fortune during the lawless years immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union, reportedly has a controlling interest in Burisma, the Ukrainian oil and gas company which put President Biden’s son, Hunter, on its board of directors in 2014 at a salary of $50,000 per month. Kolomoisky dispatched his private army to take over companies and destroy a Russian-owned oil and gas refinery in Dnipropetrovsk in 2014, according to reports.
Kolomoisky and a partner, Gennadiy Boholiubov, are accused of taking out billions in fraudulent loans and lines of credit from PrivatBank, which they co-owned, funneling the cash through a “web of entities” created by Korf and Laber.
Korf and Laber — who met Kolomoisky decades ago while working and volunteering in the Ukrainian province he governed — gave a total of more than $1.4 million to Brooklyn’s Jewish Educational Media, and nearly $1 million to the Manhattan-based Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States, nine countries which banded together after the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union].