FBI, IRS raid offices of real estate investment group in downtown Cleveland

FBI, IRS raid offices of real estate investment group in downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Agents from the FBI and the IRS raided an office building in downtown Cleveland on Tuesday morning.

A search warrant was executed at the Optima Management Group offices, located in the One Cleveland Center building on East 9th Street near St. Clair Avenue.

Optima Management Group is a commercial real estate management and investment group in Cleveland and throughout the United States.

Optima’s website describes the company as one of ‘Downtown’s largest landlords and most aggressive buyers in the city.’

The company owns 55 Public Square and One Cleveland Center, where the raid took place Tuesday.

The FBI has not yet specified why agents were conducting the operation, but said a similar raid was taking place at the group’s Florida offices. FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said no one was taken into custody Tuesday. She said “we got here at about 9 o’clock this morning and we’ll probably be here a couple more hours then we’ll be leaving. It doesn’t interrupt any business here at One Cleveland Center.” Agents were removing evidence from the office building for the majority of the day until at least 5 p.m.

Anderson said the reason for the investigation is under seal. Documents show the owners of Optima, Ukrainian businessmen, tied to investigations of money laundering and other crimes.

In May, a Delaware State Court document names them in a lawsuit with PrivatBank. Amongst other claims, it states since at least 2008 they were in charge of acquiring real estate in Cleveland funded by laundered and misappropriated loan money from the bank.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is provided.

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