Ukraine Finance Minister Jaresko’s questionable activities

From Consortium News, February 18, 2014
By Robert Parry

Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, who has become the face of reform for the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev and will be a key figure handling billions of dollars in Western financial aid, was at the center of insider deals and other questionable activities when she ran a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund.

Prior to taking Ukrainian citizenship and becoming Finance Minister last December, Jaresko was a former U.S. diplomat who served as chief executive officer of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), which was created by Congress in the 1990s and overseen by the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID) to help jumpstart an investment economy in Ukraine.

But Jaresko, who was limited to making $150,000 a year at WNISEF under the U.S. AID grant agreement, managed to earn more than that amount, reporting in 2004 that she was paid $383,259 along with $67,415 in expenses, according to WNISEF’s public filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

Later, Jaresko’s compensation was removed from public disclosure altogether after she co-founded two entities in 2006: Horizon Capital Associates (HCA) to manage WNISEF’s investments (and collect around $1 million a year in fees) and Emerging Europe Growth Fund (EEGF) to collaborate with WNISEF on investment deals.

Jaresko formed HCA and EEGF with two other WNISEF officers, Mark Iwashko and Lenna Koszarny. They also started a third firm, Horizon Capital Advisors, which “serves as a sub-advisor to the Investment Manager, HCA,” according to WNISEF’s IRS filing for 2006.

U.S. AID apparently found nothing suspicious about these tangled business relationships – and even allowed WNISEF to spend millions of dollars helping EEGF become a follow-on private investment firm – despite the potential conflicts of interest involving Jaresko, the other WNISEF officers and their affiliated companies.

For instance, WNISEF’s 2012 annual report devoted two pages to “related party transactions,” including the management fees to Jaresko’s Horizon Capital ($1,037,603 in 2011 and $1,023,689 in 2012) and WNISEF’s co-investments in projects with the EEGF, where Jaresko was founding partner and chief executive officer. Jaresko’s Horizon Capital managed the investments of both WNISEF and EEGF.

From 2007 to 2011, WNISEF co-invested $4.25 million with EEGF in Kerameya LLC, a Ukrainian brick manufacturer, and WNISEF sold EEGF 15.63 percent of Moldova’s Fincombank for $5 million, the report said. It also listed extensive exchanges of personnel and equipment between WNISEF and Horizon Capital. But it’s difficult for an outsider to ascertain the relative merits of these insider deals and the transactions apparently raised no red flags for U.S. AID officials.

Bonuses for Officers

Regarding compensation, WNISEF’s 2013 filing with the IRS noted that the fund’s officers collected millions of dollars in bonuses for closing out some investments at a profit even as the overall fund was losing money. According to the filing, WNISEF’s $150 million nest egg had shrunk by more than one-third to $94.5 million and likely has declined much more during the economic chaos that followed the U.S.-back coup in February 2014.

But prior to the coup and the resulting civil war, Jaresko’s WNISEF was generously spreading money around. For instance, the 2013 IRS filing reported that the taxpayer-financed fund paid out as “expenses” $7.7 million under a bonus program, including $4.6 million to “current officers,” without identifying who received the money. Continue reading

U.S. citizens continue to infiltrate Eastern European governments

Posted on Strategic Culture, December 30, 2014
by Wayne Madsen

The recent appointment of the austerity-loving U.S. citizen and investment firm chief Natalie Jaresko as Ukraine’s Finance Minister continues a trend that has seen one Eastern European country after another appointing or electing U.S. citizens as major government officials. Jaresko had Ukrainian citizenship conferred on her by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as she arrived in Kiev to take up her new post in the government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, himself a former legal U.S. resident who has been linked to the crypto-Satanic Church of Scientology.

Jaresko is involved in contentious asset redistribution court battles with her ex-husband, Ihor Figlus. Together, the two managed the Kiev-based Horizon Capital, established 20 years ago with a $150 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Horizon Capital operated the Emerging Europe Growth Fund, a group charged with illegal insider trading of Ukrainian securities. According to court divorce documents, Horizon Capital bought Ukrainian artwork, Georgian carpets, expensive cars, and antique furniture, all of which are now subject to the battle for ownership between Jaresko and Figlus. Jaresko also managed the USAID-financed Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), a CIA contrivance that steered U.S. investment dollars into «pro-democracy» movements in Moldova and Belarus and laundered much of the $5 billion in U.S. aid for the Maidan Square coup in Kiev that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

Jaresko’s arrival in Kiev was shortly followed by that of former Reno, Nevada assistant police chief Ron Glensor, who became an official adviser to the Ukrainian police with an initial posting at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Khmelnytsky region. Glensor has been very active with the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). Glensor is also a former fellow of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in Washington, D.C. In August 1999, The Progressive magazine reported that «Janice Stromsen, a career employee of the Justice Department who served as ICITAP’s director, resisted the program’s takeover by CIA elements. In February [1999], Stromsen was relieved of her duties after complaining to the Justice Department Inspector General that ICITAP was being used by the CIA to recruit agents among foreign police officials». Continue reading

Engdahl: Foreign bankers rape Ukraine

Published in New Eastern Outlook
December 18, 2014

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

The US-picked Ukraine President, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko called “snap” elections at the end of August for October 26. He did so to make sure genuine opposition to his regime of murderers, gangsters and in some cases outright Nazis would be able to push an unprepared genuine opposition out of the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament. Because the parliament had significant opposition parties to the US-engineered February 22 coup d’etat, they had blocked many key pieces of legislation that the Western vultures were demanding, from changing key land ownership laws to privatization of precious state assets. By law, the old parliament would have sat until its five year term ended in October, 2017. That was clearly too long for State Department neo-con Ukraine puppet-mistress Victoria Nuland and her backers in Washington.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

The ridiculous charade

Yatsenyuk, former finance minister in a previous criminal regime, and a suspected senior member of the US-intelligence-friendly “Church of Scientology,” has named three complete foreigners as cabinet ministers in key economic posts. And in an extraordinary act, the three have been made instant Ukrainian citizens by Poroshenko in a ridiculous ceremony. Ukraine is looking more and more like the US-occupied Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when General Arthur MacArthur, father of the mentally-dis-ordered Douglas, was Washington’s dictator on the spot.

The new Ukrainian Finance Minister, the one who will control the money and decides where it goes, is one Natalia A. Jaresko. She speaks fluent Ukrainian. Only problem—she is an American citizen, a US State Department veteran who is also a US investment banker. Now, the Ukrainian Constitution, prudently enough, stipulates that government ministers be Ukrainian. How then does our sweet Natalia come in? Continue reading