Among them is Timur Rokhlin, who invested in the well-known food delivery service Rocket in 2019. According to the Ukrainian investigation, 10.8 million euros were transferred to a British company controlled by Timur – income from fraudulent activities. Some of the assets, according to investigators, related to Timur, were arrested at the end of 2020. With some lawyers have already managed to recently remove the arrest. They are sure: all the funds of their client are obtained legally.
At the end of March 2021, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced that two Kiev residents were taken into custody as suspects – allegedly participants in an international fraudulent scheme. The suspects could leave the pre-trial detention center only on bail – UAH 325 million.
What is the crux of the matter
The pre-trial investigation was launched with the filing of the prosecutor’s office of the German city of Bamberg as part of the cooperation of Ukrainian law enforcement officers with Eurojust and Europol. According to the investigation, an organized group of citizens of Ukraine and other countries carried out a scam during 2017-2020. Allegedly, she lured money from citizens of European countries, inviting them to invest through special websites in the purchase and sale of bank metals, foreign currency, cryptocurrencies, securities and other assets. Investors were promised growth of their investments by 100 times or more.
And when people wanted to withdraw their investments into cash, they received calls from fraudulent call center operators, who introduced themselves as representatives of trading platforms and demanded that they pay a service fee and a commission for cashing out – an additional 15% of the amount. After payment, the investors’ accounts were blocked, and the funds placed on them were appropriated by the organizers of the fraudulent scheme.
The documented amount of losses from the fraudulent scheme amounted to 9 million euros. The German newspaper Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung then reported that about 400 people, citizens of European countries, were victims of fraud who turned to the police.
The estimated monthly turnover of the fraudulent scheme, according to the investigation, ranged from 8 to 10 million euros. Most of the victims are citizens of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.
During searches in Ukraine, documents and three cars were seized from the suspects. Photographs of the investigators were attached to the message. They captured the moment of detention of two people. Faces are blurred. One of them is standing near the Toyota Rav 4, in the field, in boots, ankle-deep in mud.
The same message from the Prosecutor General’s Office contains a reference to recent events. It turned out that the first series of searches in this case took place three months earlier, in December 2020. Then law enforcement officers arrested a fleet of 8 luxury cars: Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes Benz and other well-known brands.
Before the New Year, the Prosecutor General’s Office posted a video on its Youtube channel where you can see that these cars are in the garage of a mansion with a rounded roof.
“By the way, all the cars filmed by the police belong to a Ukrainian, whom international experts consider the boss,” wrote the German SZ.
The total amount of seized property is 50 million euros.
The reports did not indicate who owns the elite fleet. The names of the two detainees have not been released. But a few months later, the names pop up on their own.
A few months later, some things are clarified by the lawyers of the suspects themselves. In April, a post appears on the Facebook page of the law firm Miller. It says that the company protects the interests of its client – Igor Kozlenko .
Lawyers refer to the March message of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“Our client was accused of money laundering. The basis was the purchase of a car (Toyota Rav 4) on credit for an apartment (57 meters) and a land plot. The total value of this property is almost a hundred times lower than the amount of the alleged damage of 325 million,” the post says.
A little later, in May 2021, the page “Justice for Igor Kozlenok” appears on Facebook, which is run by Igor’s wife. As she writes, the family earned their property by honest labor.
The wife published the details of her husband’s detention: “In March 2021, my husband was returning from Kherson (where he was with me because I was on my business trip abroad) to Kyiv. That day I was still finishing my business on a business trip. The operational officers grabbed him in the field, in the swamp (where he got stuck, because he returned quickly, knowing that a second search had taken place at our house without us).”
But the most important thing is that immediately in the first post, she publishes a screen of the cover page of the request from the prosecutor’s office from Bamberg. The latter asks Ukrainian law enforcement officers to conduct an additional investigation against a group of people. Among them is the second suspect, who was in custody in March – Yuriy Kopachevsky, as well as other persons who may be relevant to the case: Andrey Kurochkin (citizen of Ukraine) and three Israeli citizens: Michael Chebotar, Maxim Baranovsky Rafael, Timur Rokhlin .
Igor Kozlenko is not among them.
The editors sent a request with clarifying questions to Miller. But I received an answer that the law firm does not comment on the case of their client. Igor’s wife also refused to divulge any details to the public.
A request from dev.ua was also sent to the Bamberg prosecutor’s office. The response came from Senior Attorney Thomas Goger: “Unfortunately, at this stage, I cannot disclose any information due to the fact that the investigation is still ongoing.”
Dead end? Not really.
If in Ukraine the investigation succeeded in seizing property, then in any case there will be clues in the register of court decisions. So it happened this time.
As it turned out, as part of the assistance to the German pre-trial investigation in Ukraine, the property of a number of companies and individuals was arrested. According to investigators, the defendants in the case are related to them. All arrests are interconnected by one criminal proceeding under the number 62020100000000583.
In particular, Igor Kozlenko tried to challenge the arrest imposed on the land plot mentioned earlier. But in July 2021, he was refused. On the arrested car – also a refusal. It was also not possible to remove the arrest from the apartment.
What role did Kozlenko play in the fraudulent scheme, according to the Ukrainian investigation?
Since about the second half of 2016, he has been looking for and attracting citizens of Ukraine who, for a monetary reward, provided their personal data. In the future, allegedly on behalf of Kozlenko, these people made repeated trips to the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia and other countries, where, acting on his instructions, they registered legal entities. They were supposed to accumulate the funds of the victims of the scam.
Here is a list of companies mentioned in the investigation materials: PETRAMKO HOLDING OU (Estonia), DATA MANAGEMENT EOOD (Bulgaria), E-BATCH TECHNOLOGIES SRO (Czech Republic), X-LIGHT MARKETING OO (Estonia), WDI MEDIA MARKETING SRO (Czech Republic), MAGNETS DIGITAL SRO (Czech Republic), MOONFOCUS CONSULTING SRO (Czech Republic), VOLCANO MAX SOLUTIONS SRO (Czech Republic).
Alternative sources show that indeed Igor was an official in the last company from 2017 to 2018. Then the company was registered for another Ukrainian.
Why such a large amount of collateral – UAH 325 million? Allegedly, just that much money was stolen from Europeans through websites and fake trading platforms Tradecapita, Fibonetix, NobelTrade, Forbslab, Huludox, created with the participation of Ukrainians.
Igor Kozlenko is now in jail. His lawyers initially opted for a defense tactic with a focus on publicity on Facebook. But this has not yet brought him the desired result.
In early August, Kozlenko’s wife published a screen with a fresh response from the Bamberg prosecutor’s office, which states that allegedly Igor is not a suspect in the German investigations.
“It’s much easier to catch a guy registering companies that other people then took advantage of in bad faith,” writes a Facebook page where a wife maintains a support blog for her husband.
This is the second person who was detained in March 2021 by law enforcement officers.
According to the Ukrainian investigation, Yuri coordinated the activities of the criminal scheme and was responsible for the financial direction. He managed accounts, withdrawing and crediting cash, paying for server rent and telecommunications services.
The materials of the Ukrainian investigation indicate that in April 2020 law enforcement agencies of European countries conducted searches in call centers located in Serbia and Bulgaria. Their operators kept in touch with the victims, persuaded them to “invest”.
Then 9 people were detained. As the German SZ writes with reference to the local prosecutor’s office, an assessment of the evidence seized during the operation in Belgrade and Sofia by the specialists of the Bamberg criminal police revealed “traces in Ukraine”.
Here is a serious clue: as stated in the Ukrainian case file, German law enforcement agencies found that the rent for hosting fraudulent sites (Huludox, Fibonetix, Forbslab) on the servers of the German provider Hetzner Online GmbH was paid from the PrivatBank card account owned by Kopachevsky.
Until November 2016, he was the head of the Ukrainian company Quest Marketing. According to Ukrainian investigators, its employees were involved in the creation of fraudulent Internet sites and platforms.
Yuriy Kopachevsky in 2018-2021 invested in the construction of three apartments, the purchase of a land plot for UAH 1 million, bought a house for UAH 6 million, another apartment for UAH 6 million, and five cars. The last one – MERCEDES-BENZ GLC 250 – cost him UAH 2.5 million.
In May, lawyers tried to get Kopachevsky, who has three children, out of the pre-trial detention center and transferred to house arrest. The court refused.
According to Ukrainian investigators, he was allegedly a confidant and close assistant of Timur Rokhlin, whose name was also mentioned in Bamberg’s request.
With Timur Rokhlin, according to investigators, much more significant assets were associated. In December 2020, the following companies were arrested:
1. Spetstorg, owned by Israeli citizen Igor Rokhlin, father of Timur Rokhlin. According to the cadastral numbers indicated in the case, the company owns a private house of 1408 sq m in the village of Kozin. The site is located right on the banks of the Dnieper. The arrest from this company was lifted at the end of July 2021 by the Court of Appeal.
2. “Ukrdonstroy”. The ultimate beneficiary is Igor Rokhlin. The company owns office real estate in a business center with a total area of 1694 sq. m. at ul. Sichovykh Striltsov, 62. The arrest of the company was lifted by the decision of the Court of Appeal in early August 2021.
3. “Buildings Empire” (the ultimate beneficiary is Igor Rokhlin), which owns a non-residential building in Podil (853 sq m), at the address Borisoglebskaya, 15B. The BeeWorking coworking space is located at this address. The Court of Appeal decided in July 2021 to uphold the first instance decision. The arrest has not been lifted.
4. “Renome Rent” – an office center on Delovaya, 5 for 11 thousand square meters. The arrest could not be challenged either.
The Ukrainian investigation motivated the seizure of property by the fact that the funds that came from deceived foreign citizens to a network of European firms (we mentioned them earlier) were subsequently accumulated in the accounts of Remini Consulting LP (UK). Its registration data indicates that now the company has been controlled since August 2020 by a certain Alexander Ban, a citizen of Ukraine. And earlier (since August 2018), Yuri Kopachevsky had the rights to it.
According to investigators, between September 2018 and March 2020 alone, the accounts of the British company Remini Consulting LP received 35.9 million euros, allegedly from criminal activity. Of these, allegedly 10.8 million euros were transferred to the accounts of RIJV Holdings ltd (Great Britain). It has been controlled since October 2018 by Timur Rokhlin.
The materials of the investigation published in the court register say that RIJV Holdings ltd in 2019 became the founder of a number of companies in Ukraine – Ukrdonstroynia, Beeworking (Beeworking co-working network), Beakonstrakt (office center on Delovaya 5A), Buildings Empire ”, “Arnas Group”, “Podil Group”, “Homeland Ukraine”. The current ultimate beneficiary of all these companies is Igor Rokhlin, Timur’s father.
Homeland Ukraine was previously listed as the founder of the Rocket Delivery food delivery service (TM Rocket, Rocket). Now the latter is controlled by another structure – the Cypriot company Tisea Fresh Food Ltd. But the main ultimate beneficiary is the same – Rokhlin Sr. (86% of the capital).
According to the Ukrainian investigation, in 2020, in order to hide assets acquired with funds from criminal activities, Timur re-registered controlled business entities to his father’s structures.
Forbes magazine in April published the story of the creation of the Rocket service. The journalists of the publication wrote that it was Timur Rokhlin who saved Raketa from getting into the cemetery of startups.
According to the publication, at the end of the summer of 2019, he bought the project from the collective discount service Pokupon. The founders of the startup, Stanislav Dmytryk and Alexey Yukhimchuk, have a minority share – 7% each.
Rokhlins: father and son. Forbes Help
Igor Rokhlin is a graduate of the Baku Institute of Oil and Chemistry, since 2005 he has been an Israeli citizen. He was a member of the board of directors of the Romanian refinery RAFO Onesti. It was bought in 2006 by Russian businessman Yakov Goldovsky.
His son Timur Rokhlin, a graduate of the Rotterdam School of Management, moved to Ukraine several years ago. I saw great potential here. He has a Ukrainian passport, sole proprietorship status, and a fleet of vehicles adorned with a Rolls-Royce Wraith worth about $500,000. The same one that was listed in the investigation materials.
He became an investor in Raketa for a simple reason – he did not find a convenient way to order food. As Forbes writes, partners do not name Rokhlin in public communications, preferring the wording “third partner”.
And with investments from the Rokhlins, Raketa quickly became on a par with the popular Spanish food delivery service Glovo.
“In order to reach current indicators, the company had to spend at least $3–5 million,” Taras Potichny, former head of the Estonian Bolt in Ukraine, gave such an assessment in a Forbes article.
And everyone is silent
Timur Rokhlin’s partners in the Rocket, Stanislav Dmitrik and Alexey Yukhimchuk, do not comment on the investigation, where he is mentioned.
“Not aware of this issue,” wrote the first.
“I am not aware of this case. I am developing Rocket, ”wrote the second.
Ilya Aizenshtat, CEO of the BeeWorking coworking network, also commented on the situation. When asked if he is now communicating with Timur, he answered in the negative.
A dev.ua journalist attended a meeting with lawyers for Timur Rokhlin from Klochkov and Partners JSC. Ivan Starosta, who represents Timur in court, said that the client does not want to show any publicity during the pre-trial proceedings, before the materials of the investigation are transferred to court, if any.
Timur’s lawyers are sure that the funds and assets of their client, which appear in the investigation, were obtained legally.
Information about three other suspects appearing in Bamberg’s request – Ukrainian Andrei Kurochkin, Israelis Michael Chebotar and Maxim Baranovsky Rafael – could not be found.