Mykola Zlochevsky is the former Ecology Minister of Ukraine during the term of President Viktor Yanukovych and founder of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest oil and natural gas company. Zlochevsky and Yanukovych were deposed in the Maidan coup of 2014 and went into hiding. Yanukovych and a cabinet officials were accused of looting tens of billions of dollars from the Ukrainian government. Zlochevsky was accused of looting about $5 Billion as Ecology Minister through illegal manipulation of licensing fees.
In April 2014, two months after the Maidan coup, Zlochevsky appointed Hunter Biden to the board of Burisma. Four days later Vice President Joseph Biden pledged %50 million of U.S. taxpayer money to aid the new government of Ukraine. offering his political support and $50 million in aid for the new shaky government. According to The Hill Hunter Biden's firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, was receiving regular payments—“usually more than $166,000 a month”—from Burisma. The payments ran from the spring of 2014 through the fall of 2015 and reportedly totaled more than $3 million.
In the spring of 2014, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office opened an investigation at the behest of the UK prosecutors office, which was investigating money laundering allegations against Zlochevsky and had frozen $23.5 million in assets allegedly belonging to him in early April 2014. Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide the UK with needed documents and in January 2015 a British court ordered the assets unfrozen. This action was pointedly called out in a speech by U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, who stated
- “In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people.” Instead of receiving cooperation from Ukrainian prosecutors, they “sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”
On Feb. 10, 2015, Viktor Shokin was appointed as the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine and he picked up the investigation into Burisma, which reportedly continued until his removal in early 2016 under pressure from Vice President Biden on President Poroshenko, threatening to withhold $1 Billion in loan guarantees unless the investigation into Hunter Biden was terminated. The Hill article included a written answer from Shokin, who said his investigation into Burisma had included plans for “interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
- Affidavit of Viktor Shokin on Biden shakedown, September 4, 2019.