The claim: Zelenskyy has a Florida home, $1.2 billion in overseas account, 15 homes, 3 planes and $11 million in monthly income
“The President of Ukraine owns a 35 million dollar home in Florida and has $1.2 billion in a overseas bank account,” reads the post. “Zelensky owns 15 homes, 3 private planes, and has a monthly income of 11 million dollars. Why is no one questioning where our AID is going?”
The post generated over 2,000 likes in less than two months.
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Our rating: False
An investigative expert said that there’s no evidence of the assets listed in the post, and Forbes, which tracks Zelenskyy’s assets, also found no evidence of these assets. None of Florida’s public records show that Zelenskyy owns a home in the state. Zelenskyy’s spokesperson and 2020 financial disclosure also contradict the claim.
No evidence of the assets in post
There’s no evidence Zelenskyy has any of the assets listed in the post, according to Drew Sullivan, co-founder and publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
“He does not have a house in Florida, nor did we find evidence of (a $1.2 billion) overseas account, but bank accounts are generally private and come out in leaks,” Sullivan said in an email. “There is no evidence of 15 homes, private planes, etc.”
Sullivan also said “these fake numbers are being pushed by non-credible sources – social media accounts that regularly parrot Russian propaganda.”
Forbes estimated in 2022 that Zelenskyy’s real estate portfolio was worth $4 million, including two apartments he owns, two apartments he co-owns, five parking spaces and commercial property. The magazine found no evidence Zelenskyy owned three private jets or five luxury yachts.
Zelenskyy’s name also doesn’t appear in any of the property records for Florida’s 67 counties listed on the state’s department of revenue website.
USA TODAY also found no credible news reports that Zelenskyy owns such assets, or that he makes $11 million per month and has $1.2 billion in an overseas account.
Zelenskyy spokesperson Sergiy Nykyforov told AFP in a written statement that none of the statements in the post are true.
“This is a conscious but futile attempt to influence American society’s support for the fight of the Ukrainian people for freedom and justice,” Nykyforov said.
USA TODAY previously debunked a claim that Zelenskyy bought his parents an $8 million mansion.
Reports show Zelenskyy’s annual income and assets are much lower
Forbes estimated in 2022 that Zelenskyy had a net worth of less than $30 million. It said his main asset is “an estimated 25% stake in Kvartal 95, a group of companies that produce humorous shows, which he transferred to his partners after being elected president.”
Zelenskyy’s 2020 asset declaration filed with the National Agency on Corruption Prevention and other reports don’t match up to the figures in the post. In the declaration, Zelenskyy and his wife listed seven apartments and six luxury watches, according to the Kyiv Post.
- Declared over $700,000 in bank accounts and an additional $650,000 in cash
- Received a presidential salary of $12,218
- Earned $470,000 from selling two houses – one in Ukraine and another in Italy.
- Received $171,120 in royalties, with the biggest stake coming from Kvartal 95, the production company Zelenskyy co-founded in 2003
- Received income from property lease, investment income from securities and bank interest that totaled less than $30,000 (based on the average exchange rate between Ukrainian hryvnia to dollars in 2020)
None of these amounts come close to the $11 million monthly income figure in the post.
The Pandora Papers – secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists – highlight information about Zelenskyy’s overseas dealings.
However, the papers don’t reveal the exact amount Zelenskyy or his wife have in overseas accounts. Sullivan said none of the assets claimed in the social media post were in the papers.
The documents also revealed that before Zelenskyy became president in 2019, he gave his stake in an offshore company to a business partner but made an arrangement that the offshore company would continue paying dividends to a company Zelenskyy’s wife owned, the reporting project said.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the claim for comment.
Our fact-check sources:
- Drew Sullivan, April 3, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- USA TODAY, Nov. 11, 2022, Fact Check: False claim that Zelenkyy bought parents multimillion-dollar house
- Florida Department of Revenue, accessed April 4, Property tax
- Kyiv Post, April 3, 2021, Top officials’ annual asset declarations full of riches, surprises
- Ukrinform, March 31, 2021, Zelensky submits asset declaration for 2020
- Forbes, April 20, 2022, President Zelensky Is Not A Billionaire. So How Much Is He Worth?
- Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Oct. 3, 2021, Pandora Papers Reveal Offshore Holdings of Ukrainian President and his Inner Circle
- PolitiFact, May 2, 2022, No proof that Ukraine President Zelenskyy owns a $35 million home in Florida
- Factcheck.org, July 21, 2022, Social Media Posts Make Unsupported Claims About Zelensky’s Income, Net Worth
- AFP Fact Check, March 9, Unproven claims about Volodymyr Zelensky’s wealth resurface online
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