The husband of Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democratic congressional candidate in Florida, has received at least $700,000 from firms connected to a Ukrainian believed to sponsor contract killings.
"Ihor Kolomoisky has been accused of sponsoring contract killings. Why has the spouse of a prominent Florida politico taken so much money from his companies?" the Daily Beast asks in a new report.
Robert Powell was hired as a lawyer for several different businesses that have ties to Kolomoisky, who the Daily Beast reports has been accused of many illegal actions.
Kolomoisky has been dogged by eye-popping allegations, including that he ordered the killing of a Ukrainian lawyer, and, subsequently, the killing of gang members involved in the effort. Those allegations came in court proceedings in the U.K. Kolomoisky denied the allegations, and the litigation was ultimately settled out of court.
Kolomoisky’s financial dealings are also troubled. In 2016, the Ukrainian government nationalized PrivatBank, which he partially controlled. Ukrainian authorities allege that Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, who co-owned the bank, engaged in a fraudulent scheme that cost the bank $5.5 billion over ten years, as EuroMoney has detailed. The bank is currently suing Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov. And last December, a British court ordered the freezing of more than $2.5 billion of the pair’s assets, according to the Kyiv Post.
In 2016 and 2017, Powell was paid $700,000 by Feldman Trading, which is believed to be owned by Kolomoisky. The payments to Powell were revealed in Mucarsel-Powell's financial disclosures.
Powell also appears connected to PrivatBank, a troubled Ukrainian Bank. In a 2010 court order filed in West Virginia, federal Judge Mary Stanley described Powell as a Privat representative. She wrote that he and others appeared to answer to Kolomoisky and Privat Bank shareholder Alexey Martynov.
Mucarsel-Powell's spokesperson Melvin Félix denounced the "absurdity" of the idea that the candidate and her husband are involved in anything worthy of criticism.
"Debbie is running for Congress because she believes change is urgently needed in South Florida," Félix said. "She has spent her career expanding access to quality health care in our community, giving low-income students the opportunity to go to college and protecting our coast. The absurdity of Debbie being attacked over an indirect shareholder to her husband’s former employer, a job he no longer even holds, is exactly why people are tired of politics."
Mucarsel-Powell seeks to challenge incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R.) in the race to represent the state's 26th Congressional District, which covers far-south Florida.