Already in August, the name of the TECHIIA charitable foundation took the leading place in the information space of Ukraine. Many famous people claimed that the founders of the TECHIIA foundation, Oleg Krot, and Yuri Lazebnikov spent $60 million on the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
However, the investigation carried out by Forbes Ukraine revealed many strange facts. The main questions were directly related to the declared amount of donations and their origin.
Charity for the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the amount of $60 million: Where does the money come from?
First doubts were caused by the financial statements of TECHIIA company. During the period from March to June, the mentioned legal entity reported expenses for the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the amount of 21.2 million. At the same time, the claimed amount of $60 million was almost equal to the income of Oleg Krot and Yuri Lazebnikov in TECHIIA holding for the entire 2021.
Meanwhile, the holding consists of a number of interesting IT companies, such as:
- WePlay Holding is engaged in eSports and the organization of eSports tournaments.
- ENESTECH Software develops a wide range of IT products. The key product is called SENET and is a service for the administration of computer clubs and cyber arenas.
- JMIND develops software for third-party companies, as well as works in the field of consulting, and developing its own digital products.
At the very same time, Oleg Krot and Yuri Lazebnikov own several other companies, including Slavutych LLC, which works in the field of engineering, geology, and geodesy, providing technical consulting services for business customers. The mentioned company rents a land plot from the authorities of Kyiv with a total area of 9.43 hectares located near the Dnieper. According to the report for 2020, the company earned 30 times less than spent. At the same time, the company owes 1.6 million UAH of taxes to the budget.
However, its owners Mr. Krot and Mr. Lazebnikov don’t really want to get rid of the unprofitable asset. Why? Perhaps because the company is owned by Techiia Holding Limited – an offshore Cyprus company, which allows conducting a wide range of transactions with Cyprus, e.g., withdrawing money from the country.
But where do these funds come from?
TECHIIA Foundation and 1XBET bookmaker from Russia: Partnership based on money
WePlay is one of around 20 companies created by the founders of TECHIIA and part of the holding with the same name. Last year, the official website of the company published information about the fact the 1XBET Russian betting company became a partner of the eSports tournaments held by WePlay.
According to the investigation by Forbes Ukraine Yuri Lazebnikov, who is the co-founder of both the foundation and TECHIIA holding, was the head of ME-ESTATE LLC until March 21, 2020. Before that time, the company was managed by Sergey Tsybin, who is the owner of TVOYA BETTINGOVAYA KOMPANIYA LLC which acts as the official representative of the Russian bookmaker 1XBET.
Interestingly, as soon as the TECHIIA foundation announced its donation to the Army of Ukraine in the amount of $60 million, the Commission for the regulation of gambling and lotteries of Ukraine revoked the license of TVOYA BETTINGOVAYA KOMPANIYA LLC.
Journalists from the Bigus.info project discovered that the protection of 1XBET from 1XBET by law enforcement could be carried out by a lieutenant colonel of the Security Service of Ukraine. They are talking about the head of the Department of counterintelligence protection of critical infrastructure facilities and countering the financing of terrorism (“I” Department), Artem Shilo.
Mr. Shilo is widely known as a protege of the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Oleg Tatarov, who managed to acquire property worth $4 million since 2016. In addition, such financial success can’t be explained by the business of his wife.
Interestingly, in 2021, when Mr. Shilo tried to become a businessman after his resignation from the Security Service of Ukraine, he incorporated PRICKER LLC, which is now registered to his father Victor. At the same time, the mentioned legal entity was originally located at the address of TARASYUK AND PARTNERS JSC owned by Sergey Tarasyuk and Alina Bryn. These people supported the entire process of TVOYA BETTINGOVAYA KOMPANIYA LLC licensing and defended the company in court.
Another interesting company is DINALINE CONSTRUCTION LLC. It was created to build a technopark developed by TECHIIA holding. Oleg Krot and Sergey Titov were its co-owners until 2021. As Artem Shilo mentioned himself, Mr. Titov is his godfather, who acted as the key link between the bookmakers and Artem Shilo according to Bigus.info.
It is worth noting that Oleg Krot claims that today there are investors in Ukraine who are ready to finance not only construction projects but also the IT industry, probably referring to the money of Russian 1XBET.