Top Ukraine official’s $1.5M in USDT, BTC seized in embezzlement probe

Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court seized $1.5 million in tether (USDT), TRON (TRX), and bitcoin (BTC) yesterday from the former chief of Ukraine’s State Special Communications Service (SSSCIP) following allegations of embezzlement and money laundering.

Yurii Shchyhol was fired last week from the SSSCIP as prosecutors began probing Ukraine’s cyber security agency over the alleged misuse of $1.7 million (UAH 62 million) in state funds. 

Yesterday’s court announcement detailed how Shchyhol, alongside five others, used their position to allegedly misappropriate funds through the purchasing of “information technology tools” designed for secure data registers.

The court accuses the six suspects of working together in 2021 to organize a series of contracts that ensured they could buy UAH 223 million ($6.2 million) worth of software for UAH 285 million ($7.9 million) in state funds. 

The $1.7 million difference in funds was then allegedly transferred to overseas companies so that they could launder the funds and redistribute it among themselves.

Read more: EU teaches Ukraine police to track criminals and their crypto

Cryptocurrency amounts of 1.2 million USDT, 331 TRX, and 6.9 BTC — worth $1.2 million, $35, and $266,000 respectively — have reportedly been seized from the Shchyhol by Ukraine government anti-corruption agencies. 

According to the Kyiv Independent, Shchyhol was detained on November 23 and shortly released on bail one day later for $693,000. 

The former deputy head of the SSSCIP is also accused. He was detained on Nov 27 and will be held for two months in detention. Bail was set at $276,000.

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