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article imageNew Ukraine finance minister was U.S. State Department officer

By Ken Hanly     Dec 9, 2014 in Politics
Kyiv - Natalie Jaresko was granted Ukrainian citizenship just this week. Jaresko was president and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund(WNISEF) a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
WNISEF was a fund of $150 million originally used to spur business activity and investment in the Ukraine. The website of the fund is here but is apparently undergoing renovations! The website is run by Horizon Capital of which Jaresko is the cofounder and managing partner.
Horizon Capital manages WNISEF's investments and collected fees for doing so that have exceeded $1 million in recent years according to the 2012 report. The 2012 report shows that not only were there substantial management fees paid to Horizon Capital but that there were other "insider" dealings: In the 2012 report, the section on “related party transactions” covered some two pages and included not only the management fees to Jaresko’s Horizon Capital ($1,037,603 in 2011 and $1,023,689 in 2012) but also WNISEF’s co-investments in projects with the Emerging Europe Growth Fund [EEGF], where Jaresko was founding partner and chief executive officer. Jaresko’s Horizon Capital also managed EEGF.
The report also lists several other deals involving WNISEF and EEGF. This all took place during the period before president Yanukovych was overthrown. His regime was plagued by charges of corruption. The 2012 report of WNISEF shows that the value of the Fund was then under $100 million. US taxpayers had already lost one third of their investment.
Jaresko's ex-husband Ihor Figlius has made allegations of improper dealings by Jaresko but his allegations stopped after a court order to stop his whistleblowing at the insistence of Jaresko.The details of the dispute are related in an article by John Helmer here:
Exactly what happened when Jaresko left the State Department to go into her government-paid business in Ukraine has been spelled out by her ex-husband in papers filed in the Chancery Court of Delaware in 2012 and 2013. …Without Figlus and without the US Government, Jaresko would not have had an investment business in Ukraine. The money to finance the business, and their partnership stakes, turns out to have been loaned to Figlus and Jaresko from Washington.” Helmer claims that when Figlus reviewed company records in 2011, he concluded that some loans were improper. Lacking funds to investigate the matter further he turned the matter over to Mark Rachkevych, a reporter for the Kyiv Post for further investigation. However, Figlus had signed a non-disclosure agreement and Jaresko was granted an injunction preventing Figlus from revealing any further material about company dealings. The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, himself an oligarch, cited Jaresko's experience in WNISEF and EEGF as his reason for choosing an American to run Ukrainian finances and grant her Ukrainian citizenship.
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