Viktor Topolov (right)
Ukrainian Independent News and Information Agency
Before he became President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen worked on behalf of a company controlled by another wealthy and well-connected man: Viktor Topolov, a politician whose associates are members of the Russian and Ukrainian underworld.
The leader of Ukraine’s coal ministry and a personal friend of that country’s president, Topolov had been a board member at a state-run bank, the top executive at a construction company, and the president of a professional football club. But beyond his official titles, Topolov has also been investigated twice for money laundering and embezzlement, and the FBI has said his associates are “well known” members of the Russian mafia.
Back in 2006, he co-owned an ethanol company with his longtime business partner, Alex Oronov. The two men wanted to build a factory in Ukraine, so Oronov tapped his son-in-law, Bryan Cohen, along with his brother, Michael Cohen, to pit..