On 2 March 2018, the fugitive President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych held a press conference, where he confirmed the information that the American political technologist Paul Manafort was working for the “Party of Regions”. However, as explained by Yanukovych, he was not aware of the financial side of the issue, because with Manafort had handled a matter only the Presidential Administration, in particular, its head Serhiy Lyovochkin. In consideration of this information, the former head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine may possess a sensible information in the case on charges by the former Head of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in money laundering.
About that the exactly Lyovochkin was in contact with Manafort on 10 February 2018 said the French journalist Frank Foer, who has earlier published an investigation ratio in the release The Atlantic about American (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/paul-manafort-american-hustler/550925/) political technologist.
“Manafort could apply to Serhiy Lyovochkin, and the one – to Yanukovych, and said, “Manafort wants 10 million dollars”. Yanukovych replied, “Ok! Give him these 10 million dollars”. Then Lyovochkin applied to the variety of oligarchs and said: “You should give a million dollars”. And, according to my sources, he has got his own piece, in other words, remuneration for the collected money on behalf of Manafort”, – was told Foer in the interview to the Ukrainian “Hromadske TV” (https://hromadske.ua/posts/rozsliduvannia-pro-manaforma).
In the public affairs office of Serhiy Lyovochkin, the journalist’s guess was called the “false and such thoughts, which do not correspond to reality”. Although, after the claim of Yanukovych, it becomes obvious that Lyovochkin can lie.
Serhiy Lyovochkin was the head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine from February 2010 to January 2014. He resigned at the height of the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine when the Ukrainian society came out to protest against the winding up of the European prospects of the country by the former regime.
Now he and his sister Yulia are the members of Ukrainian parliament of the party “Opposition Bloc” which includes former members from the “Party of Regions” of Viktor Yanukovych.
Interestingly that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine since 27th of May 2017 conducts criminal proceedings on the fact of a possible illicit enrichment of Serhiy Lyovochkin. In particular, the Bureau is interested in Ukrainian and foreign Deputy’s real estate. In his Tax Return Lyovochkin stated that he owns the estate and land in Nice. He also has the right to use another Villa on the Cote d’-Azur of France, which is owned by his sister – members of parliament Yulia Lyovochkina.
Information about Lyovochkin’s elite estates in Nice became known in early 2016. It was published by former journalist and now people`s deputy Serhiy Leshchenko in his journalistic investigation (https://www.pravda.com.ua/articles/2016/01/16/7097522/).
After the article was published Lyovochkin has denied that he owns the specified estate, however, in his electronic Tax Return on the income and expenditure for the year 2016 he indicated this property. Yulia Lyovochkina also specified both estates and the land under them in their financial reporting statements. That particular fact, where the official got the funds for the purchasing of such real estate, which is estimated at least of 40 million euros, is interesting the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
On 2 February 2018, it became known that the court of Nice (Le tribunal de grande instance de Nice) put a lien on the property. In the judgment, is noted that there is should be arrested the following property:
- the villa, located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat at the address: 56 Boulevard du General de Gaulle, which was registered on the company Glorietta Investments I APS (legal address: Rygards Alle, 104, 2900, Hellerup, Denmark) with the registration number №32344577. Its cost is estimated at 40 million euros.
- the villa, located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat at the address: 54 Boulevard du General de Gaulle, which was registered on the company SCI Villa Saint Michel (legal address: 4 Rue Docteur Barety, 06000, Nice, France) with the registration number in Nice № 752 484 378. Its cost is estimated at 10 million euros.
The information on the arrest of the specified real estate contains in the Register of judgments (http://www.piquet-molitor.com/) Also, the fact of the seizure is confirmed by one of the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
In its turn, the public affairs office of Serhiy Lyovochkin denied the fact of the seizure of his villas on the Cote d’-Azur of France. “The claims about that the foreign assets of Serhiy Lyovochkin were arrested are untrue. None of his foreign assets was arrested”, – said in comments his public affairs office.
Despite the deputy’s claims, in the response to the deputy’s letter of inquiry from March 2018, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine stated that it has attached to the proceedings about the fact of illicit enrichment of Serhiy Lyovochkin the documents (https://www.dropbox.com/s/7gw7cjbsj13f9p0/NICE.jpg?dl=0) regarding the arrest of his French assets. “We inform that the submitted documents are attached to the materials of criminal proceedings No. 42017000000001722 from 27.05.2017 in the fact of possible receiving by the member of parliament Serhiy Lyovochkin in ownership of the assets in the significant amount, the legitimacy of the receiving grounds of which is not confirmed by the evidence on signs of the criminal offense provided by part 3 of article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and will be used during the pretrial investigation”, – said in its response the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
According to the documents promulgated in the investigation about Lyovochkin’s villas in Nice, they were purchased in July 2011. That is the time when he was the head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine of Viktor Yanukovych. Thereafter, it reliably known that since 2010, by Paul Manafort was an adviser of Yanukovych. “After the 2010 elections, Paul Manafort was my advisor on a voluntary basis. I always meet with him – I had many counselors – at meetings when considering international issues, and Paul Manafort took part in them. I had no any personal contacts with him as such. He worked mostly with the Presidential Administration. There was such order”, – said the ex-President at the press conference in March 2018.
Consequently, the French real estate of Lyovochkin was purchased just at the time, when he actively collaborated with Manafort, who is now suspected in money laundering. Given that the Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities are now conducting the investigation into the acquisition of this Lyovochkin’s property, it may well turn out to be that it was bought for the money, which was a “remuneration” from the agreements with Manafort.
If this assumption will be confirmed, then the current member of Ukrainian parliament Serhiy Lyovochkin will be a valuable witness in the case of the former Head of the Donald Trump presidential campaign. The Ukrainians finally find out for what "kickbacks" the former Chief of the fugitive President Administration was acquired his luxury real estate.