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Moldova: Key Figure in Money-Laundering Scandal Reinvents Himself

The login page for public Internet access in Moldova’s regional town of Orhei features a photo of the new mayor Ilan Şor – a prime suspect in a series of fraudulent loans by several banks that cost Moldovan taxpayers nearly $1 billion. After a month in custody, the Israeli-born multimillionaire won the mayoral race this June with 62 percent of the vote in the industrial town of about 33,600. (Mobile Phone Screen Shot)

Ilan Şor is a central figure in an allegedly complex money-laundering scheme that cost Moldovan taxpayers nearly $1 billion. But the 28-year-old businessman seems unfazed by controversy: three months ago, he became mayor of Moldova’s regional town of Orhei, and has recast himself as a “mayor-investor.”
 
So far, most locals seem to accept him that way.
 
The makeover of Şor, an Israeli-born multimillionaire, underscores the challenges confronting Moldova as it strives to clean up government and create a firewall between office holders and business.
 
Şor was placed under house arrest earlier this year after an investigation for the National Bank of Moldova named him as a prime suspect in a series of fraudulent loans by the private Unibank, Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii that cost Moldovan taxpayers some 16 billion lei (now about $804 million). A former board chair of the Banca de Economii, he faces charges of abuse of power.
 

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Moldova: Key Figure in Money-Laundering Scandal Reinvents Himself

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