One of the main differences that I’ve found between working with journalists whose stories are aimed at a large cross section of the general population and these articles of mine aimed at a more specialist audience, is that, necessarily, the mass market publications simply can’t go into the same level of detail as I would like them to.
But first, a quick reminder as to what prompted all this in the first place.
A while ago I discovered around 400 Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) that all exhibited the same behaviour. They all had Ireland & Overseas Acquisitions Ltd and Milltown Corporate Services Ltd as their initial Designated Members, they all then transferred DM status to Monohold AG and Intrahold AG and, finally, all of them then transferred DM status a third time to Uniwell Inc and Tallberg Ltd. All of them have had accounts signed off by Ali Moulaye and some of them have since moved on to a fourth set of DMs (although this time they are quite varied). Around 130 are still active.
So I’m going to take the opportunity, through this particular outlet, to expand on some of the vignettes which appeared in the recent Buzzfeed story – The Ghost Companies Connected To Suspected Money Laundering, Corruption, And Paul Manafort and I’m going to call them “Ghost Stories”.
The first relates to an entity called Profbond LLP (hence the article’s sub-title – geddit!).
Let’s start with a bit of history. Profbond was formed in February 2005 and, like all the LLPs in our story, was created by Ireland & Overseas Acquisitions Ltd and Milltown Corporate Services Ltd.
They filed their first set of accounts for the year ending 28/02/2006 on 20 April 2006. They showed commission income of £2,650 which, when added to the starting capital of £1,000 and less the administration costs of £1,500 left a total on the balance sheet of £2,159. Not exactly setting the world on fire then.
Over the next three years, up to 28/09/2009 they improved a bit, so that by the time they filed the accounts for 2010 the Profit and Loss account looked like this:
And the balance sheet looked like this:
Which was a bit of a surprise, given that I’d also found this:
No mistaking it’s the same company: same name, same OC number (OC311526).
$50,000,000! OK, not all of it advanced at once but I’ve also found a much longer document which is too long to quote here but which shows this and a number of other loans being drawn down over the period 13th May 2009 to 30/12/2011 totalling, in all, $147,000,000.
So maybe it just took a while for the interest to appear in their accounts. Let’s have a look at the P&L and Balance Sheet for the following years (2010/2011).
Nope. Not much happening there. And so it continues, right the way to the most recent set of P&L and Balance Sheet up to 28 February 2018 which are signed, not by Ali Moulaye (who signed 2013 to 2017 inclusive) but his protégé Kang Dong-Hee which are as follows:
And not once, in that entire period, is there the slightest suggestion that Profbond has lent Energosystems best part of $150,000,000, or received any interest on their investment nor is there any hint of where that money might have come from in the first place.
Maybe their Person with Significant Control might provide a hint? Here he is:
I’ve managed to find a couple of references on the Internet to someone by the same name. The first is Managing Director of a Czech company and appears to have the same date of birth as the one above (although he is supposed to be Ukrainian).
The second is a Ukrainian (encouragingly) but appears to be a journalist working for the Association of European Journalists (less encouragingly).
Either way, there’s not the slightest indication that he could be the source of $150,000,000.
But it doesn’t end there as I’ve also tracked down a report stating that LLC Yurt disclosed to the State Commission for Securities and Stock Market that it had arranged a 10 year loan from Profbond LLP in the sum of $40,000,000. No sign of that on the balance sheet either.
And then there’s the bankruptcy case filed in the Economic Court of Odessa by Gambrinus Ltd which names Profbond as one of its debtors in the sum of nearly $4,300,000.
And that’s about it. No website, no other existence except for the fact it has a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) that is active and shows a headquarters address in Odessa (except it’s spelt wrongly – wouldn’t you know).
So what do we know?
Apparently, there’s an entity in the UK, with headquarters in Odessa, which has lent around $200,000,000 to other Ukrainian entities, we’ve got no idea where that money comes from but it certainly doesn’t appear in the accounts they file at Companies House. The LLP itself carries the same hallmarks as a whole bunch of others which have been associated with all sorts of alleged criminal activity (it is very similar in pretty much all respects to Colberg Projects LLP which was cited by Oleg Deripaska in his case against Paul Manafort who was recently found guilty by a US Court of a variety of financial crimes).
And that’s about it (but that’s probably enough)!