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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

FBI Raiding Cleveland Properties Owned by Ukrainian Oligarchs

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge Three of the Optima Ventures current and former properties: Crowne Plaza Hotel, AECOM Building, One Cleveland Center - "IMG_2485"BY JEFFPYLE IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • "IMG_2485"by jeffpyle is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • Three of the Optima Ventures current and former properties: Crowne Plaza Hotel, AECOM Building, One Cleveland Center
The FBI is currently raiding the offices of Optima Management Group, a Cleveland and Miami-based real estate company under the direction of Ukrainian oligarchs.

The local FBI office would provide no comment on their investigation and activities, but confirmed that agents had been seen carrying out a search warrant at One Cleveland Center, which Optima owns and operates out of, Tuesday morning.

Agents are also executing warrants in Miami. And while the FBI would not explicitly confirm that the searches were related to the so-called "Optima Schemes" — the information is currently under seal — Miami was the home base of the oligarchs' men in the United States: Mordechai "Motti" Korf, his brother-in-law Chaim Schochet, and Uriel Laber. These three men managed the "Optima" companies and U.S. assets, which were ultimately controlled by Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov.

Schochet was the man in Cleveland. In 2019, he told Scene that allegations in a lawsuit which described in detail the fraudulent means by which the oligarchs became the largest owners of downtown real estate in Cleveland, were "false, defamatory and utterly without merit."

You can read Scene's full report on how Ukrainian Oligarchs amassed their Cleveland real estate portfolio here.

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