A court has found that Andrey Adamovsky, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, defrauded former business partners to the tune of $34.7 million (£22.3m).
A civil court judge handed down the verdict last October, but Mr Adamovsky, who was found to have illicitly deprived two co-owners of his Oledo Petroleum company of their 45 per cent share of its sale, has not yet paid them back.
The 53-year-old was born in modern-day Kyrgyzstan but is now co-president of the Association of Jewish Organisations and Communities a rabbi’s council in Ukraine, in addition to his WJC role.
At the end of the five-year case — during which Mr Adamovsky made “ridiculous” and “rubbish” claims, according to prosecuting lawyer Martin Kenney — the judge found he had indeed conned his business partners.
One day before the proceeds arrived from the sale of Oledo Petroleum’s share in Vik Oil, a Ukrainian petrochemicals company, Mr Adamovsky terminated shareholder Andriy Malitskiy’s powers over their joint bank account.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) court noted that Mr Adamovsky then shifted the $71.6m fee, only half of which was legally his, to Stockman Interhold SA, his other BVI corporation, without the knowledge of his co-owners.
In his closing remarks, the judge said Mr Adamovsky was “selfish”, adding that he “had no right to expropriate the property of others for his own advantage”.
Mr Kenney, a Canadian lawyer who specialises in prosecuting large-scale fraudsters, said it was “unconscionable” that a proven thief could still represent the WJC.
He said: “It’s shocking to me that a reputable organisation like the WJC would make such an appointment.”
A WJC representative said: “Mr. Adamovsky is a member of the WJC Executive by
virtue of having been being elected co-chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine, which
under the WJC Constitution automatically makes him an ex-officio member of the
WJC Executive Committee. Mr Adamovsky’s civil litigation over a commercial dispute is totally unrelated to the World Jewish Congress or the Jewish community of Ukraine.
It began and ended well before he became a member of the WJC Executive Committee in March 2015.
“Mr. Adamovsky, like all other ex-officio vice-presidents of the WJC, only speaks on behalf the WJC when explicitly mandated to do so by the WJC president or the CEO.”