The crimes of which the Ukrainian businessman is suspected have been investigated since November 2022 within a criminal proceeding for signs of committing a crime provided in part 2 of Article 110 (Financing actions committed to violently change or collapse the constitutional order or to seize the sovereign power, to change the size of the territories or the line of the sovereign border of Ukraine) and in part 2 of Article 111 (the treason) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. One of the accusations is financing the Russian military aggression by paying taxes from the enterprises that are said to belong to Mr. Cherniak and continue operating at the territory of the Russian Federation since February 24, 2022.

Ievhen Cherniak was born on April 12, 1969 in the city of Zaporizhzhya. He began his career as a private businessman in the early nineties by opening small trading points, a couple of years later, he already ran Trade House «Megapolis». In 2003, he founded liquor factory «Khortytsia». In 2004, Trade House «Megapolis» opened a representative office in Russia, and in 2010, it opened a representative office in the US. Since 2008, Ievhen Cherniak has been running an international liquor holding company Global Spirits with the headquarters in New York. Ievhen is the author of several best-selling books of the Big Money series and the owner of a YouTube channel «Big Money» (845 thousand followers). On his Facebook page, he follows strict anti-Russian rhetorics.

Picture from social networks * I haven’t got such a huge amount of love, support, sms, calls even for my birthday considering the fact that I do have a lot of real and virtual friends, however yesterday I got even more. Yesterday it was a really good and warm day to remember. This is worth going through this legal insanity when a citizen of Ukraine has been chased for helping their country and the people. We will keep helping. We are really doing right if this reflects so much at the «swamp».

The Global Spirits holding which has become an object of attention of the Security Service of Ukraine, unites  liquor factory «Khortytsia» and «Odessa Brandy Factory». According to open sources, the holding had tight connections with a Russian liquor factory “Russkiy Sever” and “Istochnik i K”. Indeed in the beginning of 2011, the holding purchased two Russian liquor factories, spending approximately twenty-five million dollars for the purchase and for the factories’ modernization. In 2022, it turned out that these assets were transferred from the Global Spirits brand and the official owner of the factory was a citizen of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bespalov. The Ukrainian office has officially revoked the liquor production licenses of these enterprises.

Why do some experts claim that Russian assets are still have connections to the Cherniak family? According to the data of the OSINT – community Molfar, Mr. Cherniak managed to purchaseassets from the Russian Federation through a Cypriot company AMG-77 Investment Ltd. Officially this company owns, besides Global Spirits Russia, two more Cypriot companies – Oxford AMG-77 Ltd and MSD Marketing System Distribution Ltd. Another interesting thing is that AMG-77 changed its beneficiary several times: once it was a son of Mr. Cherniak (Oleksander Cherniak) and then – his father (Oleksander Cherniak Sr.). So, formally, Global Spirits belongs to the Cherniak family. What companies are included in AMG-77 Investment Ltd? According to the investigation the assets are as follows:

– «Istochnik i K» LLC, which was a part of Global Spirits Russia and changed its name to «Tradytsii uspihu» in 2022;

-«Megapolis» Trading House LLC – a distribution company that is a part of Global Spirits Russia/«Tradytsii uspihu”;

– LLC «Russkii Sever» – a factory located in Vologda (Russia), till April 2022 the owners of which were Oxford AMG-77 Ltd (99%) and Trading House «Megapolis» (1%).

– According to open sources, JSC “Feodosiisky Brandy and Wine Factory” is also a part of the assets of Global Spirits in Russia.

Officially, these enterprises produced liquor products under the Global Spirits license in Russia and were also responsible for the distribution. The question is whether the Russian and the Ukrainian parts of the business cooperated with each other after 2014.

In the summer of 2023, Russian law enforcement officers completed their own investigation and sentenced Ievhen Cherniak to in absentia arrest for financing the Armed Forces of Ukraine and declared him a federally wanted person. They accused him, being anowner of Russian assets, of financing the Ukrainian Army from the profits earned in result of the production lead on the territory of the Russian Federation. And at the same time, the Security Service of Ukraine was conducting criminal proceedings on the fact that Mr. Cherniak kept leading commercial activities with Russian partners. The suspicion which was announced to the businessman on December 29, 2023 is that he paid taxes in the amount of almost six billion UAH to the budget of the Russian Federation in 2022.

In what way Mr. Cherniak, according to the Security Service of Ukraine, continued to cooperate with the aggressor state? The investigators claim that according to one of the schemes, Mr. Cherniak leased some enterprises in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, where liquor products were produced using Russian components. Mr. Cherniak’s lawyers assure that this is a fake and that they are be able to prove it – the above mentioned enterprises have never been leased. There’s a chance that they talk about the production of liquor products at these enterprises under the license of the Global Spirits Group. However this is not a violation of the law and such brands as “Nemirov” and “Bayadera” also bottle their beverages under the same license and sell them on the territory of the above mentioned countries. Experts say that the way Georgian, Azerbaijani and other foreign enterprises conduct their business is really their own business.

So, the battle between Global Spirits and the Security Service of Ukraine will last. Six top managers of the Ukrainian holding have been arrested, the investigation is still ongoing, but Mr. Cherniak has already been charged. What evidence will the Security Service of Ukraine present and what will Mr. Cherniak’s lawyers appeal to – these are the forthcoming questions.