Ukrainian government sues in UK, alleges corrupt scheme in purchases of emergency vehicles
The Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry has filed a claim in the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, against Legal Business Consultants Ltd., a UK company that is alleged to be part of an international conspiracy involving the inflated purchase price of depreciated vehicles to the ministry. The claim seeks damages for conspiracy and deceit.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP, a law firm hired by the government of Ukraine, said in a statement on Tuesday that according to the claim, Legal Business Consultants and other conspirators have related ownership and connections with former officials of the government of Ukraine.
The claim states that the defendants conspired in a series of transactions resulting in the sale of 27 medical vehicles at grossly inflated prices to the ministry.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld recalls that this case represents the second court action arising out of a comprehensive anti-corruption investigation ordered by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in May 2010. The first lawsuit was filed by Ukrvaktsyna, a state-owned entity within Ukraine's Health Ministry, in a U.S. federal court in Portland, Oregon on September 17, 2010. The US lawsuit was filed jointly by the law firms of Trout Cacheris, PLLC and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP. The two firms also collaborated with the international investigative firm Kroll, Inc. on the investigation on behalf of the government of Ukraine, which served as an impetus for both lawsuits.
The UK claim was filed by Nabarro LLP, which is working closely with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP, reads the statement.
"This second legal action is a result of the comprehensive audit commissioned by the government of Ukraine, and sends a strong signal that the current administration is taking the issue of corruption very seriously. It is willing to allow the level of scrutiny that accompanies litigation in the Western courts so as to ensure that such allegedly corrupt practices are not repeated," Mark MacDougall of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP commented.
As reported, the Ukrainian government signed an agreement with Washington DC based Trout Cacheris, PLLC to evaluate the financial and economic activity of the previous government from 2008 through the first quarter of 2010, when it was led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
"The audit is necessary to evaluate the actual financial and economic condition of Ukraine and the legality of budgetary expenditures used by Tymoshenko's government," the government's press service reported, adding that "the audit would help Ukraine recover from the crisis."
Trout Cacheris, PLLC, will lead a team of professional legal and consulting firms that will include Kroll, Inc. and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP.