FBI raids offices at downtown One Cleveland Center building tied to Ukrainian oligarch


CLEVELAND, Ohio — The FBI on Tuesday raided the Cleveland offices of a company with ties to a Ukrainian oligarch that owns several downtown buildings.

FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said agents searched the offices of Optima Management Group in One Cleveland Center at East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue. A spokesman for the IRS also said his agency’s investigators were present.

Optima is a conglomerate of companies across the United States that has interests in real estate in Cleveland, including One Cleveland Center, the 55 Public Square building and the Westin Cleveland Downtown. Its offices are visible from an entrance and windows on the side of One Cleveland Center, and on Tuesday multiple agents were seen carrying and moving computers, boxes and other items both inside the office and later as they loaded materials into a van.

Anderson said agents also executed search warrants at an office in Miami.

Federal authorities in Cleveland have been conducting a wide-ranging probe involving Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky that has been ongoing for quite some time. Kolomoisky is a principal of the Privat Group, a large Ukrainian business company, and principals of the company are also part of Optima.

Optima had a much larger presence in Cleveland about a decade ago when it bought several buildings under the leadership of executive Chaim Schochet. Its presence in Northeast Ohio has dwindled in recent years.

Optima also controlled Warren Steel Holdings, a mill northwest of Youngstown that closed in 2016.

Kolomoisky and a fellow Ukrainian billionaire formed PrivatBank in the early 1990s. It became one of the Ukraine’s key financial institutions, according to Forbes. The Ukrainian government nationalized the bank in 2016 after an investigation suggested there was large-scale fraud over a decade-long period, Forbes reported.

The financial news outlet places Kolomoisky’s net worth at about $1 billion. He remains a complicated political figure in his home country. He is a former governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region.

Published reports said that Kolomoisky had refused to set up a meeting with President Donald Trump’s ally Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an attempt to dig up dirt against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden last year.

Kolomoisky’s attorney Michael Sullivan declined comment.

Read more:

Ukrainian-linked investment company in FBI probe was once one of downtown Cleveland’s biggest landlords

Ukrainian oligarch with ties to downtown Cleveland real estate under FBI investigation

The most important guy you’ve never heard of: Chaim Schochet, 25, builds downtown Cleveland empire

AECOM Centre in downtown Cleveland sells to New Jersey buyer with renovation plans



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