The Ben Barnes Group, led by Ben Barnes, the former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives has been hired effective October 15th, 2015 by a shadowy law firm based in the British Virgin Islands with close ties to Ukrainian Prime Minister Petro Poroshenko at the fee of $100,000 per month.
AS Prima Societas is the law firm who hired Barnes – yet they have no website nor information available on-line – and are owned (at least on paper) by “Artem Saprykia Consulting” according to documents which have been filed with the United States Department of Justice. Those same documents reveal that Barnes’ funds are subsidized by Makar Paseniuk, who acts as Poroshenko’s financial adviser.
Paseniuk’s company website – Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU) describes him as heading “the most experienced and professional” investment banking team in the Ukraine. He claims to have completed billions of dollars of deals in the last year.
The Prime Minister’s chief financial advisor is hiring an American lobbying firm to help the country’s economy – in a nation already reeling from corruption.
The group’s former Chairwoman left ICU to serve as head of the National Bank of Ukraine, which serves as the Central Bank for the nation.
The agreement calls for Barnes to work in the media, in lobbying, communications and more to promote the interests of the firm “…in the international investment community and promote the economic and geopolitical interests of the government of Ukraine.”
Further, “The services shall involve representing the company with regard to investment activity and opportunities, positioning the Company within the investment community at large, government and community advocacy….”
50-year old Poroshenko is the 5th President of the Ukraine whose wealth is currently estimated at $720 Million Dollars – having fallen substantially due to recent Ukrainian economic woes. He is known as the “chocolate king” of the region, owning the largest confectionery manufacturing operation in Ukraine, and he also owns several car plants, a television station and shipyard.
Poroshenko vowed to sell his assets if he was elected – yet has not done so. While the Ukraine is at war with Russia, the economy has failed miserably.
Paseniuk has been outspoken in recent months in encouraging investment into the Ukraine, claiming in a recent interview, “There is interest in investing into Ukraine. At present, we’re holding talks with 10 private equity funds – it concerns over $1 billion. They are looking for investment opportunities in the country.”