American Mystery of the con man Ilya Ponomarev

American Mystery of the con man Ilya Ponomarev

“Defendants violated the federal securities laws by disseminating materially false and misleading statements…” – in the state Texas they are considering a claim of fraud against the fugitive ex-deputy of the Russian Parliament Ilya Ponomarev.

On January 25, 2023, the Russian Finance Intelligence declared about the updating of the registry of physical persons and organizations in case there is information about their involvement in extremist or terrorist activities. According to the Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosmonitoring), Ilya Vladimirovich Ponomarev (born 1975) was included into the list. He had been asking for that himself for a long time.


The former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation who fled Russia in 2014 and in 2019, under dubious circumstances, became citizen of Ukraine, decided to actively manifest himself on the field of Russophoby and extremism. Ponomaroyv has been “successful” in this direction – already on August 30, 2022, Ponomaryov was arrested in absentia and was repeatedly put on the wanted list, having received “on his credit side” a criminal case under Article 203.7, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph “d” of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Public dissemination of knowingly false information on the use the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation using armed forces based on the grounds of political hatred).

Ilya Ponomarev “has manifested himself” as well by a series of extremist declarations on the case of the murder of Daria Dugina, he took charge of organizing this murder and distributed a certain “manifesto of resistance” thus having tied closely this terror attack with fugitive Russian opposition. The Russian opposition hypocritically disavowed these outrageous declarations of Ponomarev, yet, having quickly forgotten about this terrorist attack, it, without any moral excruciations, took participation in the work of radical oppositional platforms like the Polish conference of imposters where Ponomarev had given an address as one of the main speakers. Inna Kurochkina, his girl-friend from the Czech Republic, “the body-and-TV-journalist of Zakayev”, was also active on that panel personifying stable connection to foreign remnants of fugitive members of former bandit groups of North Caucasus. In a word, Ponomarev definitely lacked being present in this extremist list of the Russian Finance Intelligence. And he assured oneself of this by his own actions.

Detection card in the data base of the Russia Ministry of Internal Affairs. Personal particulars: Ponomarev Ilya Vladimirovich, repeatedly put on the wanted list, previously wanted according to restriction Ts. OR (M) – 474/2022.

Ilya Ponomarev himself, stands to reason, has been trying to keep a brave face. He sees as a certain achievement his presence in the registry of foreign agents and on the “black list” of extremists. “If they continue to give new little “medals” – now of foreign agent, now of extremist-terrorist, now a yet another criminal case - it means that we have been doing everything right”, said Ponomaryov stressing that now he is “a merited criminal”.

According to his words, “the Freedom Russia legion”** is growing, the partisan movement inside Russia is becoming institutionalized, so the dismantling of Putin’s system is not far off, and, of course, it disturbs them more and more. Hence they react as they can”, he boasted in a program of foreign agents’ TV-channel “Dozhd”**, for which now, apparently, is high time to be included into the registry of undesirable organizations for giving platform to such persons and Ponomarev.

And, actually, all this information brag could turn out to be a proper mess not only for Ponomarev himself, but for all his business and political partners. The whole business activity of the former Russian deputy could be derailed as cheerful as he has been cheerfully rhapsodizing about that. In fact, in accordance with the law, in the first instance, all banks working on the territory of Russia, must freeze monetary means and assets connected with this “frozen” and zoned out defendant.


Potentially, not less interesting ramifications can await as well American partners of Ilya Ponomaryov, who have happened to get connected with the fugitive ex-deputy while trying to make money on the territory of Ukraine.

This a bit forgotten history is dealt with the fact that the American firm of Ilya Ponomaryov “Trident Acquisitions” created in 2016, in June 2019 suddenly won a 50 years contract for producing oil and natural gas on the Ukrainian territory. “In was a real struggle, but out bid was considerably more profitable for Ukraine”, said joyfully the head of the company “Trident Acquisitions” Ilya Ponomaryov on July 29.

But already in September of the same year Ponomarev was indignant – the results of the auction sales were annulled.

As Vladimir Groisman, the then head of the ministers’ cabinet, said the last action sales “didn’t deliver on hopes with regard to coming to the Ukrainian market big players of international level”, and that is why one must once more conduct an auction. Because the annulment of the results of the tender, “Ukraine has lost a billion of dollars of investments”, said sadly Ilya Ponomarev at that time.

The trick was that Ponomarev didn’t get any billion dollars at all. Money for the realization of this project was only to be collected from naive American investors. As pointed out interlocutors of Ukraine business publications, Ponomaryov’s problem is that “he always tried to sell something belonging to other people, not to himself”.


The status of the “investor” headed by Ilya Ponomarev, despite the disclosure of information and listed stock prices on the stock market NASDAQ, is notified as “blank check company”, i.e. a shell company. Such companies most of all trade the so called “junk stocks”, and the reckoning is that sometimes, on their street, a truck with cakes will capsize, and they will anyway make it into history of the world business and become “wolves from the Wall-Street”. However, in advertising folders of such companies it is clearly said that buyers of “junk stocks” are acting on their own risk and peril - with all the expected results, including smile or evil grin of Fortuna.

Ilya Ponomarev who once worked for the oil swindler Khodorkovsky, wanted to repeat his trick with acquiring of Yukos oil deposits at somebody else’s expense. But the affair failed. The “American investor” Ponomaryov was exposed and thrown away from the Ukrainian market.


Con men, as is known, don’t hang their heads. In 2020, the reporter of the media outlet “Oktagon” Taras Podrez told about how the belonging to Ilya Ponomarev firm “Trident Acquisitions Corp” had quickly switched from “oil rivers” to gambling and united with the American lottery operator “Such a decision was taken on November 18, 2020, on the last day of working of Ponomaryov as chief executive officer of “Trident”.

Yet, as time has shown, the resignation of Ponomarev has been still dragging on, as well as the procedure of merging with the gaming operator. As of May 12, 2021, public services still itemized him as the CEO of “Trident Acquisitions Corp”. As it became known during election meetings of participants of the lottery concession, Ponomaryov’s notification about his stepping down either had been lost somewhere or the company itself had been dragging with providing reports to the regulator. In any case, the firm became from NASDAQ a notice for delaying of presenting reports and threatened to remove its shares from trading.

According to reports in corporative sources, the “oil lottery players” soon corrected themselves, but, as it became evident a bit later, “they have corrected themselves” not exactly in accordance with the law. It was suspected that the leaders of the company “had mislead the investors”.


As the website has found out, investors in the United States, as early as in the fall of 2022, had complains formed in a very clear way.

On October 11, 2022, a complaint was lodged with the court of the town Austin – “Complaint for violations of the federal securities law”. The mentioned statement, which is, in our usual perception, a legal claim, was lodged from the part of the American citizen Matthew K. McDonald, as well as from the part of “persons happened to be in the same situation”. And as defendants before the court mere mentioned the already known to us company, Ilya Ponomaryov* and several more persons from the number of Ponomaryov’s partners.

The case “Matthew K. McDonald vs. Inc. and Ilya Ponomarev”

The essence of the claim leaves no place for speculations about how the claimants regard Ponomaryov and his associates.

So, in the section of the claim entitled “Nature of the action” it is said:

“This is a securities fraud class action on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities between November 19, 2020 and July 29, 2022, inclusive”.

The card of the court case registered in the state Texas on October 11, 2022

In the section “Factual background”, in paragraphs 27 and 28, the claims are expressed in even more specifically:

“Throughout the Class Period, defendants violated the federal security laws by disseminating materially false and misleading statements to the investing public and/or failing to disclose business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, defendants concealed material information and/or failed to disclose that:

(i) the Company is not in compliance with state and federal laws governing the sale of lottery tickets;

(ii) the Company lacked adequate internal accounting controls;

(iii) the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to revenue recognition and the reporting of cash;

and (iv) as the result of the forgoing, defendants’ positive statements about the company’s business, operations, growth, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

  1. After the truth was revealed in a series of partial disclosures, the price of securities plummeted, causing investors to suffer significant losses and economic damages under the federal securities laws. By the end of the Class Period, the price of stock had fallen to less than $1 per share and warrants were virtually worthless”.

Evidently, in spite of the change of jurisdiction, Ilya Ponomaryov continues to take part in various dubious schemes.

Having fled the Russian justice system, he really may end up in the hands of the American one. Beware of this, Ponomaryov by his anti-Russian rhetoric, sometimes exceeding in its glowing the hatred of representatives of Kiev’s authority, is trying to receive a sort of indulgence from the American justice. Its characteristic that Ponomaryov kept off the radar the fact of the court litigations.


Apart from that, as the website has found out, the dragging stepping down of Ponomarev from the position of the general manager of “Trident Acquisitions Corp” doesn’t mean at all his final leaving business, as the shares of the company “Trident Acquisition Corp”, from the very outset, were “hanging” on two Estonian firms controlled by Ilya Ponomaryov. The shares had been hanged on “Estonians” at the moment of activating the company “Trident Acquisition Corp” in 2018.

One firm is located in Estonia under the name “Easpower OU”, registration number 14086198. According to the registration entry, this firm, from 2018, has belong 100% to Ilya Ponomarev and still has been under his control.

The second is called “Fivestar OU”, registration number 14085550. This firm is also controlled by 100,00%, by Ilya Ponomarev. According to the entry in the Estonian registry, it is also active.

Both these firms mentioned by Ponomarev in 2018 as stock holder firms, are reflected in reports of “Trident Acquisition Corp” for the American regulator.

Taking into account that “Trident Acquisition Corp” is registered in the American state Delaware, which some people call “tax heaven”, and others “American tax hole” with all features of services to register dump firms, the question of the final break with the firm, this time of lottery men with the founder Ponomaryov, is hanging in the air. However, court proceedings in the United States, that Ponomaryov has made a mystery of, give all the reasons to suppose that the parting with the American shell game business was limited to formalities.

So, in the result, one of the builder of the “beautiful future Russia” is caught in common fraud right at the very heart of the modern democracy – in the United States.

Ilya Ponomarev, pursuing by one hand terrorist activities against Russia, by his second hand is making out business in the United States and Estonia. And, according to his own boastful revelations, on all terrorist attacks he has been spending “his personal money”. That is why the American Treasury Department and its FinCEN, as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have something to ponder on, without waiting special signals from Rosmonitoring or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. How long they will cover the extremist and con artist? The same, by the way, applies to Estonia – the snake they have chosen will definitely bite them.

* Ilya Ponomarev, on 21.10.2022 was acknowledged as physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent – on 25.01.2021 Rosfinmonitoring included I.V. Ponomaryov into the list of terrorists and extremists.

***OJSC “TV-channel “Dozhd”, individual tax ID number (INN) 7703663928 – on 20.08.2021 was included in the registry of foreign agents under No 248

* Mikhail Khodorkovsky, finance swindler, collaborationist – on 20.05.2022 was acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. Included into the registry under No 389.

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