A former Ukrainian politician was suspected of misusing state funds at an energy company that he founded and is subject to the continuing impeachment inquiry on Nov. 20.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka confirmed the Eastern European country would widen its investigation into Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky to include suspicion of embezzlement of state funds.
Since taking office August, Ryaboshapka has carried out a far-reaching audit of criminal cases to find out if they were conducted properly. Thirteen of those cases are related to Zlochevsky according to Reuters.
Zlochevsky will be investigated for alleged “theft of government funds on an especially large scale,” Ryaboshapka said without providing evidence or further details according to Reuters.
Other allegations include tax violations, money laundering and granting licenses to Burisma while Zlochevsky himself was the minister of ecology and natural resources.
A document from the general prosecutor’s office that was allegedly leaked to the media shows the prosecution believes Zlochevsky used his official position to embezzle 800 million hryvni ($33 million) belonging to the country’s central bank.
The central bank did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The investigation has continued for two years and was suspended because Ukrainian authorities cannot find Zlochevsky.
The company has already received a lot of attention after House Democrats launched an investigation into whether Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden (D), Hunter, and his board role at Burisma between the years 2014 and 2019.
Prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, who has been appointed to examine the matter, previously met with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to discuss the allegations against Hunter Biden.
Giuliani previously met with Kulyk in Paris during 2016 and discussed what seemed to be then U.S. vice president’s efforts to dismiss Ukraine’s then Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin and prevent further investigation of Burisma.
Joe Biden has dismissed the allegations as “false, debunked conspiracy theories.”
Reuters was unable to independently verify the extent of Kulyk’s involvement but a source close to Burisma confirmed communication increased between Kulyk and Burisma after Giuliani expressed concern about the Bidens to Kulyk’s then supervisor, Yuriy Lutsenko.
Kulyk sent Zlochevsky the first of several summons for questioning in late January, according to documents obtained by Reuters.
Zlochevsky has neither commented on the summons nor an announcement by Ryaboshapka back in October that his office was reviewing a series of probes linked to Zlochevsky.
Further investigations into the matter are continuing.