The Slatest

A Billion Dollars Went Missing in Moldova

Ilan Shor, the 28-year-old financier suspected of taking the money.

Încărcată de WandererSu/Wikimedia

I was going to make a joke about how sometimes you misplace your keys or the remote control and sometimes you misplace a billion dollars, but really, a small country losing the equivalent of 15 percent of its GDP in a few days isn’t funny:

Tension has been building in tiny Moldova over the last few months, ever since reports began to surface of $1 billion missing from three of the country’s leading banks, removed in the days leading up to the parliamentary elections last November.

The amount, a huge sum for any country, was the equivalent of around 15 percent of Moldova’s GDP.

That’s from a piece, which goes on to explain the suspected scheme—it sounds like a 28-year-old oligarch named Ilan Shor was able to surreptitiously gain control of three banks over the course of several years before giving his own offshore companies a collateral-free “loan” of the billion dollars in question.

Shor has been placed under house arrest; he says he’s innocent. The report that documented his alleged scheme was put together by the New York-based investigative company Kroll.