Once named one of the world's 10 most corrupt politicians by Transparency International, Pavlo Lazarenko spent eight years under house arrest and in prison in the United States after his 2004 conviction for money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors said he stole at least $200 million when he controlled much of the Ukraine's economy, especially lucrative natural gas contracts, and laundered $114 million through U.S. banks. About a year after his 2012 release from prison, U.S. authorities seized his assets, including a Picasso lithograph and a California mansion once occupied by actor Eddie Murphy, to help satisfy outstanding fines. Switzerland seized $6.6 million that Lazarenko stashed there and in 2000 convicted him in absentia of money laundering.
In the data
Lazarenko and his offshore firms have been a target of law enforcement investigations, going back to 1998, when British Virgin Islands police served three search warrants on Mossack Fonseca. Two sought information on Metalsrussia Corp Ltd. and Southeast Asia Metal Limited, naming Lazarenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, who would later become Ukraine’s president, and her husband in the warrants. A third sought information concerning "an investigation into Criminal Offences involving misappropriation of state or public property and forgery in respect of Bainfield Company Ltd." and additional information on Bassington Ltd. Lazarenko was a shareholder in both, dating back to the mid-1990s. Lazarenko was convicted of money laundering in Switzerland in June 2000 and convicted of money laundering in the United States in 2004 and sentenced to nine years in prison, later reduced to 97 months. U.S. authorities are still seeking $250 million from his offshore accounts.
Lazarenko's criminal defense lawyer did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
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