An official from Ukrainian National Police Yevheniy Shevtsov and his wife Alyona Shevtsova are legalizing money from gambling online and illegal betting. They are suspected of legitimizing profits in the USA.
Ukraine is still a country with corruption among most top officials. Even active institutional efforts and financial resources granted by US government just disappear.
Most of the media that uncover beneficiaries of corruption schemes appeared under attacks in recent years.
However, corruption is not the main problem, in comparison with how illegally obtained funds are used.
In Ukraine, the National Police (controlled by the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov), have special power that allows in addition to the direct function of law enforcement use it for corrupted commercial purposes.
Our colleague, Ukrainian investigative journalist Lyubov Velichko, became the target of a massive threat and attempts to discredit her after she determined the amount of corruption generated by illegal gambling in Ukraine. Her situation became one of the most open cases of harassment of a journalist in Ukraine.
She connects threats with Yevheniy Shevtsov, deputy head of the National Police’s General Department of Investigations, who is supposed to be one of the main controllers of the gambling business in Ukraine and the supervisor of the entire underground online-casino market.
The way his wife is doing business could be considered as a traditional in Ukraine, but the huge profits of illegal casinos require laundering. And from that moment on, Mr. Shevtsov case becomes unique, since the money laundering takes place in the United States.
Shevtsova own companies that help “launder” profits from gambling and betting. These companies are notable for the fact that their founders include American citizens, that allows to withdraw money to the United States in the status of “personal funds”.
There are 2 american citizens involved in the scheme: Yuri Kaplun (founder of LeoGaming Pay FC, registered in the USA, 17921, Lei Azur Wei, Boca Raton, Florida, 33496) and Alex Marder (co-founder of Interset LLC, registered at 445 East North Water Street, apt 210 Chicago).
From the Ukrainian side the counterparty is Leo Partners LLC. According to Classifier of types of economic activity this company is registered as one for offshore operations. Registration address: Cyprus, VA Herodi Atticu Street, 2332, Lakatamia, Nicosia. The head of Leo Partners LLC is Alyona Shevtsova.
Officially money passes as private funds. To make it possible, some of the founders are US citizens with an indication of the percentage of the business, which is easy to capitalize for transfer abroad.
This allows to transfer funds to the territories not controlled by Ukraine and occupied by the Russian Federation, NGCA (Non-Government Controlled Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk). Such a transaction is impossible without the assistance of the local administration and the payment of cash bonuses to its representatives. These funds were most likely aimed at strengthening terrorist regimes.
Investigators from the ACAB UA FaceBook group found out that the LeoGaming Pay FC, owned by Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik), the wife of Yevheniy Shevtsov, the Deputy Head of the Main Investigation Department, was involved in financial transactions with Russia (aggressor towards Ukraine) and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic.
In the governmental registers there is a court decision, that includes the criminal proceedings of the Security Service of Ukraine No. 22017000000000064 dated February 20, 2017. According to the case file, Alyona Shevtsova’s company Leo-Partners took part in the transfer of Webmoney title units to the NGCA territory.
Later, the title units were converted into foreign currency and converted into cash in order to finance and materially support the activities of active members of these terrorist organizations, as well as the withdrawal of funds abroad, ”the investigators say,” the court’s decision says.
The Security Service of Ukraine blocked financial transactions with temporarily occupied territories:
According to the official information from the LeoGaming company website, there are 50 games available for replenishment, and many of them are registered in Russia.
Also Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik) company LeoGaming has foreign branches in Romania, Macedonia, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In particular, the branches in Romania and Macedonia have their own websites. Among the partners of LeoGaming are Russian payment systems: Qiwi (Alyona personally was related to this one as well), Webmoney and Yandex.Money. Also from the Romanian and Macedonian LeoGaming website you can top up your account in VKontakte (Russian social network).
Mail.ru Holding is included into the anti-Russian sanctions list adopted by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC). That means that access to the resource in Ukraine is officially prohibited. The other listed companies are also subject to NSDC sanctions, and their activities in Ukraine are illegal. That means that Romanian and Macedonian branches of Leogaming work with structures banned in Ukraine. According to journalists, a participant in these transactions is the LEO payment system, owned by a resident of Ukraine Alyona Degrik.
Cooperation with Russian counterparties, sanctioned by the NSDC, some of which are directly controlled by the FSB of the Russian Federation, is a violation of the law and constitutes a threat to national security.
The personality of Mr. Shevtsov and his wife attracted attention by representatives of the Ukrainian parliament and SBI (State Bureau of Investigations). The investigated case was obvious discrepancy between their image and the officially declared income.
More than 50 deputies of the Ukrainian parliament called on law enforcement officers to audit the deputy head of the main investigation department of the National Police, Yevheniy Shevtsov, as he was called one of the key figures in a large-scale international criminal scheme. The scheme where some of the top officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Bank of Ukraine, State Fiscal Service, State Security Service and other structures are involved. This is a powerful criminal group that has been engaged in illegal gambling businesses for years, money laundering and its withdrawal to offshore, Russia and NGCA. They are engaged in fraud with the register of property rights and the appropriation of real estate, using their government positions and titles.
As the Deputy from Golos politician party Aleksandra Ustinova said, this initiative is connected with the assets of the Shevtsov family. Earlier, Bigus.Info journalists found out that Yevheniy Shevtsov’s wife, Alyona Shevtsova (Degrik), received a non-residential premise with an area of 587 sq. m in Kiev. It happened in 2016. Previously, it belonged to businessman Alexei Kikireshko, the former president of Arsenal Kiev football club, but the property was seized due to Kikireshko’s outstanding bank loans.
Almost all property and income belongs to the wife. So, in 2018 Shevtsov declared an income of almost 350 thousand hryvnia, and his wife – 7 million and almost 700 thousand hryvnia. All real estate and cars are also registered with his wife.
Why Law enforcement official covers online casino
According to blogger Alexei Golobutsky, the National Police approaches the audit of illegal gambling establishments very selectively, arresting the property of only intractable entrepreneurs.
Being under the influence of Mr. Shevtsov, the National Police are very selective of illegal gambling establishments’ which audit and arrest only the most intractable entrepreneurs’ property.
“Competitors who are smart enough can immediately after the raid come to the same supervisor of the criminal proceedings and try to agree to return part of the money, agree on the cancelling raid or do it formally. After that, businessmen return to regular work, no arrests and or a trial, “the blogger writes. Mr. Shevtsov’s core gambling and financial assets are focused on Leo Gaming Company.
“His status allows him to put pressure on competitors — these are done several times a month by different people. The work of the police is very effective … but in two years and dozens of raids, there are only a few decisions on the seizure of property,” Golobutsky added.
The fact that law enforcement officers under the leadership of the deputy head of the Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine Yevgeny Shevtsov systematically attacks IT companies and paralyze the business of possible competitors of Shevtsov’s wife, Alyona Shevtsova, reported in the “Stop corruption” journalistic investigation TV Show on Ukrainian Channel 5 (September, 2019).
“The National Police press office reports from time to time on the successful raids of on online, casinos, posting pictures of the withdrawn money and equipment. However, there are no such brilliant reports about the closure of such casinos or arrest of the accused, “the authors of the investigation said.
The authors of the “Stop corruption” TV show said that Yevheniy Shevtsov was not only on many high-profile raids on IT companies in recent years, but also put pressure on journalists. Even the US Embassy in Ukraine has drawn attention to this situation.
Videos of the Shevtsov family cars, real estate and restaurants have been posted on social media. The author of the video, Denis Ivanov, claims that his family was persecuted and his father was raided because of this video. The authors of publications about Shevtsov are constantly faced with lawsuits. One of the last Shevtsov’s victims of stalking for now was the lawyer of Denis Ivanov, Masi Nayem, in September 2019, Shevtsov filed a lawsuit against him for slander. His wife also filed a similar claim.
The investigator journalist, Lyubov Velichko, collected all this disparate information into a single case. After the publication of the article, the author and the publisher were subjected to a massive attack and campaign to discredit.