PNC Plaza google earth 8-7-20

The 30-story PNC Plaza in downtown Louisville is secretly owned by Ukrainian oligarchs as part of a international money-laundering scheme, the federal government alleges in a court document filed Aug. 6, 2020. The building was sold Nov. 19 to Somera Road, a New York commercial real estate firm.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- PNC Plaza, one of Louisville’s biggest downtown office buildings, has a new owner three months after federal officials alleged it was part of a money-laundering scheme perpetrated by Ukrainian oligarchs.

A company linked to New York commercial real estate firm Somera Road bought the 30-story office tower for $22.25 million, according to public records filed this week.

That’s a fraction of the $77 million the previous owner, of which the Ukrainians were the major investors, paid for the building in 2011, according to court and property records.

In a lawsuit filed in August, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Ukrainian oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholiubov stole billions of dollars from PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine.

They then worked with U.S. associates in Miami to launder the stolen money into assets, such as PNC Plaza, the government alleges in court documents.

Somera Road had a contract to buy the building in July, just before the U.S. Department of Justice brought a forfeiture case in August in federal district in Miami. The government wants to seize the Ukrainians’ ownership interest in the Louisville building and a building they purchased in the Dallas area.

On Aug. 14, a federal judge signed an order allowing the sale of PNC Plaza to go through with the proceeds belonging to the Ukrainians placed in escrow pending the outcome of the forfeiture action, according to court records.

A Somera Road executive did not immediately return a call for comment.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.