ND man held in Ukraine over attempted assassination charges

Kurt Groszhans
Kurt Groszhans(Groszhans family)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:23 AM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A bizarre situation is unfolding in Ukraine where a North Dakota farmer is being held on attempted assassination charges against the Agriculture Minister in that nation.

The Ukrainian News Agency is reporting Kurt Groszhans, originally from Ashley, ND, is in jail in Ukraine.

The News Agency says Ukrainian investigators are alleging Groszhans hired a hitman to take out a debt collector and Roman Leshchenko.

Leshchenko is reportedly a former business associate of Groszhans, accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from their farming operation. Leshchenko is now the Minister of Agrarian Policy for Ukraine.

Leshchenko and Groszhans have a business history dating back to 2018. The Kyiv Post is reporting when Leshchenko was appointed as the minister of agriculture in 2021, he was facing a lawsuit from Groszhans for the alleged embezzlement. The Post says Leshchenko eventually paid the money, but then Groszhans wanted more in damages and extra losses suffered to keep his business running.

The Post is also reporting, “According to bank transfers viewed by Ukraine’s courts and obtained by the Kyiv Post, Leshchenko secretly moved roughly $250,000 from Groszhans LLC to his own company Progress LLC during his tenure.”

The drama between the two goes back and forth with the post also reporting, “Dialogues between Leshchenko and Groszhans in messenger application WhatsApp obtained by the Kyiv Post has shown that Leshchenko threatened his former business partner. Leshchenko said he could have Groszhans put in jail thanks to his vast political connections if the American pursues his claims against him.”

AgWeek is reporting Groszhans’ family in North Dakota has reached out to ND’s congressional delegation, the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine over the ordeal.

Groszhans’ sisters reached out to Valley News Live saying they fear for their brother’s safety.

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