Cheater notaries sell property without the owner knowing

Cheater notaries sell other people's apartments and cars without impunity by forging letters of trust on behalf of actual owners, representative of NGO Ukrainian Detective Anti-Corruption Bureau Serhiy Horbachenko said.

"If they introduce amendments to the Law on Notaries when it is impossible to request a registry book from a notary – why then do they do it? They are lobbying that wording of the law not to let establish the truth," he explained his theory at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

Horbachenko said no notary institution exists in Ukraine. He claims that it is impossible to make notaries liable for crimes as law enforcement agencies are interested in cooperation with swindler notaries. What is more, this criminal chain also includes judges, local police officers, passport registration officers, and others. "A complaint from the victim means every accomplice's opportunity to get their share of stolen property from a swindler notary. No one is interested in the property itself – all they need is conversion by a notary of a forged notary document to money," he said.

Horbachenko claims that such dishonest notaries do not even try to hide, they work openly, as every seller in a car market knows their names. What is more, a list of their names could be available at Kyiv's forensic institution, which gets orders for examination involving all the same persons.

Typical victims of such notaries are people who immigrate without the sale of their property in the country, persons who suffer from alcoholism, and elderly people who are vulnerable to frauds.

Lawyer Oleh Veremeyenko, who was also present at the press conference, cited an example of the illegal privatization and sale of a Kyiv-based apartment owned by U.S. citizen Seraphima Gorokhovska, who immigrated to the United States way back in 1991. Three dishonest notaries are involved in this case – Oleksandr Perevertun, Nina Leontyeva, and Mrs. Selezniova. By forging documents, they've managed to sell the victim's apartment four times. The first time when the flat was sold was in 2010 with the use of a letter of trust issued by Perevertun to an identified person mentioned as Ivan Yovenko. Yet, the man whose name Ivan Yovenko was in prison at that time. The victim said she learnt about the sale of her property in 2012. After that, the flat would be subject to legal seizure several times, which would later be lifted every time on the basis of forged documents.

Veremeyenko said that the last time the flat had been sold at a price half of its market value. What is more, he claims that criminal proceedings open on this count have been impeded in every way possible. Kyiv's Court of Appeals is scheduled to consider the victim's new complaint on Wednesday, February 10.

Horbachenko says that swindler notaries use similar schemes to illegally sell houses, plots of land and stolen cars.