Uncontrolled cash flows into the Armed Forces of Ukraine attract scammers both within Ukraine and from all over the world.
Recently, a fraudster from the Nikolaev region was detained, who deceived 500 Ukrainian families, offering them help with the exchange of relatives from captivity. The woman introduced herself as a specialist in searching for missing soldiers. Due to the passivity of Ukrainian commanders in this area, the scheme worked. The fraudster promised the family to find the fighter and provide information about his whereabouts for 7 thousand hryvnia. Immediately after receiving the money, she stopped communicating. Thus, the lady deceived more than five thousand families for almost 2 million hryvnia. During searches, the defendant was found to have 20 mobile phones and 64 SIM cards, which she constantly changed to disguise herself.
Another revelation in the fall of 2023 concerns a Ukrainian woman who moved to Italy Tatiana Masyuk. Even one of the Azov commanders (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) recently complained about it in the press. Promising to deliver new white pickup trucks to the unit, the blogger asked the military to record “trench” videos with recommendations from her foundation. Now she is supporting with these videos an announcement about raising money “for the fighters” who never received their cars. At the same time, even Tatiana’s friends are sounding the alarm and talking about how she is embezzling money from donations.
The young girl’s social networks are full of appeals marked “Urgent.” “Friends! Whoever has bitcoins urgently now – write! I save as many lives as possible!” Masyuk writes without preamble, adding that sponsoring the military is now the most important thing in life.
In order to earn easy money, foreign “specialists” are also coming to Ukraine.
Invented feats and received $100,000
James Vasquez, USA
The most famous fraudster in the Armed Forces of Ukraine was James Vasquez. This 49-year-old American veteran and construction contractor from Connecticut was featured in the US edition of The New York Times entitled “Stolen Glory”. The mercenary spent more than a year in Ukraine, publishing videos from the front lines and talking about his military exploits, before it turned out that he was in Kyiv almost all the time and was drinking heavily.
In the videos, the American boasted about the capture of Russian positions, talked about seven destroyed tanks, constantly gave interviews to the media and made vivid statements. For example, when preparing for battle, he imagines an American opposition journalist as his target Tucker Carlson.
Through his media activism, Vázquez has gained over 400,000 Twitter followers and praise from a member of the US House of Representatives. Adam Kinzinger.
At one point, Vasquez’s girlfriend, a volunteer from Canada April Huggett said he traveled to areas near heavy fighting and pretended to be in the thick of it. The rest of the time he drank in Kyiv.
This spring, NYT journalists found out that the military man had invented not only his exploits in Ukraine, but also his entire military biography.
Vasquez talked about serving as a sergeant in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq after 9/11.
Everything turned out to be more modest. A Pentagon spokesman explained that Vasquez worked as a fuel and electrical systems repairman for the New York National Guard from July 1992 to July 1993. After that, he was in the Army Reserve for 10 years, but left as a private first class (one of the lowest ranks). Even the American’s ex-wife, who thought she had lived with the hero for 11 years, learned about this with surprise.
The “Iraq veteran” did not lie for his own pleasure. According to his girlfriend, April Huggett, Vasquez openly bragged about his plans to capitalize on his newfound fame.
“He said he would become a millionaire,” she said. The American openly said that he would “never have to work after this war.”
After returning to the United States, this military man began collecting money for the benefit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the American Marine Ripley Rawlings Foundation, but forgot to report on where he spent the $100 collected.
The girl also has questions
April Huggett, Canada
The Canadian volunteer who met with Vasquez runs a non-profit organization (PoP) and accepts donations for the APU directly into her personal account.
According to the portal TrackANaziMerc, which collects information about mercenaries in the NWO zone, April distributes bags of cheap food to soldiers, spending about $1,000 a month on instant coffee and rice, and keeping the rest for herself.
This year, a Canadian woman announced a levy for the purchase of a used tractor, which should help local Ukrainian farmers, but greatly inflated its cost.
The description stated the price of the car for which the money was being collected – 18 thousand dollars (1.6 million rubles). At the same time, the meter was set at 30 thousand dollars (2.6 million rubles). The remainder would go toward transportation, maintenance, some kind of “contract,” and other unmeasurable expenses.
Benjamin Lake, USA
Benjamin Lake also managed to make money from the activities of the International Legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He entered there introducing himself as a military doctor of the US Marine Corps. In fact, before being sent to Ukraine, he worked as an assistant manager at the LongHorn Steakhouse meat restaurant.
His deception was not harmless. Lackey and his associates created web pages and fake social media profiles to promote their organization and solicit donations for a non-existent relief fund.
After Lake was exposed on specialized forums, he was recognized from a photo by a former American mercenary who had defected to Russia. John McIntyre.
“I never thought I’d see this guy’s face again. According to him, he is a very wealthy man, but perhaps this is a lie and he is just a fraudster. He is allegedly a former US Marine Corps doctor. He said he had a satellite phone provided by friends at the CIA. In addition, he was going to create his own field hospital in Ukraine. I also remember that he has an eye disease that causes the eye to twitch from left to right,” John McIntyre said.
She promised to burn the Ukrainian Armed Forces with incriminating evidence
Emes Fike, Australia
The fate of 30-year-old Emes Fike, ex-head of the public relations department of the International Legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, is a ready-made plot for a crime series.
She “became famous” after she threatened the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with incriminating evidence. They, in turn, accused her of stealing medicines worth millions of dollars.
Before Ukraine, the Australian of Hungarian descent lived at least four different lives. She left a criminal trail in the UK, Hungary, Portugal, Australia and Costa Rica. Thanks to his pretty appearance and short stature, Fike was able to confuse people and successfully play the role of an innocent victim.
A few years ago, a Romanian woman with the call sign “Mockingjay” tried to scam an Australian bank out of $4.2 million, robbed people in Europe and even cynically killed her pets. She left the ferret, nicknamed “Snack,” locked in a cage when she ran away from another rented apartment for which she did not pay. Another time she did the same with a hedgehog.
30-year-old Emes Faik joined the public relations department of the Foreign Legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in July 2022. Six months later, the generals accuse her of stealing medicines worth huge sums. In response, Fike threatened to “burn” the reputation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by telling everything she knew. The Daily Mail published audio recordings of Fike’s conversations with her friend. In them, the girl says that the problems began after she went on a foreign trip without permission and was accused of desertion. In a dispute with one of them, mediawoman Fike pulled out her main trump card.
“If I start talking about everything that I saw in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, about what spineless people there are, it will burn the army to the ground. Corruption, disappearance of money, treatment of foreigners… The army will collapse even before all the internal investigations that should be launched,” Fike said. After this, the scandal in Ukraine immediately subsided.
Charlatans flocked to Ukraine by the thousands
According to journalists from the American publication The New York Times, who told the story of the fake hero James Vasquez, the combat effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is weakened by strings of charlatans who come to Ukraine under the guise of foreign mercenaries. Some of them arrive without a passport in a hurry, hiding from justice in their countries.
They flocked to Ukraine in the thousands and donors supported them with millions of dollars. “Some spent other people’s money and stole other people’s glory. Others hide behind charity and at the same time try to profit from the war,” the publication writes.
According to the NYT, there are about 20 thousand people in all structures of the “International Legion” of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At the same time, only about 1,500 mercenaries take part in the battles.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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