Mykhaylo Fedorov, minister of Digital Transformation, responds to the public concerns over his ministry’s partnership project with Andriy Onistrat, the financier, facing embezzlement charges in the case of “Bank Natsionaly Kredyt’.
The ministry reportedly teamed up with the notorious financier to produce a series of educational videos about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
Addressing the controversial issue , the minister explained that he was not aware of embezzlement charges on Onistrat’s record and cited the ‘positive’ publicity of the latter.
“To be frank, we are not following criminal proceedings, all those charges and stuff. We know that his ‘brand’ is very positive. He even interviewed me for his Youtube channel. That’s why I didn’t know anything about it,” said Fedorov.
Fedorov stressed that the series was going to be removed from all the official platforms of his ministry once Onistrat was found guilty of the crime.
“If there is a person that has had some ‘issue’, if court finds him guilty, […] we will remove the series”, said he, adding “if not, five or seven thousand people will watch it, let them enjoy the series”.
“He is not telling about any scams. He is explaining things about cryptocurrencies and other stuff. My objective in this project is to teach digital literacy to people, ” added the minister.
Andriy Onistrat was pressed charges in 2018 in the criminal case that is still pending at Kyiv ‘Shevchenkivsky’ City District Court.
The financier is indicted on criminal charges of embezzlement and forgery.
According to the pre-trial investigation, Andriy Onistrat, at the time when he was Advisory Board chairperson at “Bank Natsionalnyi Kredyt” and main shareholder ‘acting with premeditation and trying to obtain a pecuniary advantage, conspired with a group of former bank employees to embezzle funds amounting to 597 million hryvnas.”
The embezzled money later was reportedly transferred to the account at Bank Fick & Co AG in Lichtenstein.
Andriy Onistrat denies any wrong-doing agruing that “Chief Investigation Department accuses me of embezzlement in “Bank Natsionalny Kredyt” citing an article 191 of Criminal Law, which is complete nonsense meaning that I stole my own money. Not a single fact, no witness is telling that I did it. It is inadequate perception of things happening, without any evidence.”