US group that trains Ukrainian military ends after accusations of sexual misconduct, financial fraud, burglary

The Mozart Group is a private American organization created to train Ukrainian soldiers.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A lawsuit filed in Wisconsin has accused Mozart Group member and former Marine officer Andy Milburn of financial fraud, burglary, and sexual misconduct, among other accusations.

The lawsuit was filed in the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Wyoming earlier this month by former Marine and Kyiv businessman Andrew Bain, who holds a majority stake in the Motzart Group, a private American organization created to train Ukrainian soldiers, according to The Intercept.

The lawsuit, obtained by the outlet, states that Milburn was designated as a "Manager" of Mozart, and that "on multiple occasions since his appointment as a Manager Defendant Milburn has taken actions which have and will continue to cause harm to the Company and to the Plaintiff as a Member of the Company."

Bain alleges that Milburn has taken various actions and carried out various activities while under the company "which require prior approval and permits issued by the United States Department of State in compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations," and that Milburn "failed to secure the necessary approvals prior to taking such actions."

When confronted by the Department of State on these violations, an attorney was retained, which Milburn fired, and did not retain substitute counsel.

"The matter is still open and remains unresolved causing significant potential liability for the Company."

Bain also claimed that Milburn "sought commercial contracts for military training in Armenia which would divert resources from Ukraine."

Milburn, who traveled to Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion as a freelance journalist and while working under the Mozart Group appeared on numerous news broadcasts and was featured in articles, has presented Mozart as running off of donations and being devoted only to defending Ukraine, according to The Intercept.

Bain accused Milburn of sending "hostile and caustic messages" to the retired former commanding general of Special Operations Command Europe after the general "declined to participate as a Member or Manager of Mozart Group."

Milburn was accused of orchestrating and participating in a break-in of a warehouse owned by the Ukrainian Freedom Fund, as well as "making unwanted sexual advances and propositions to a female office manager" and hiring as a personal assistant a Ukrainian woman he met through a dating app, paying her a $90,000 salary "which is at least four times more than the usual compensation rate for a Ukrainian based employee in such a position."

Milburn was also accused of using a company vehicle to travel to London and abandoning it, misleading journalists to believe Mozart is a 501(c)(3) charitable entity, mixing personal and company funds through Venmo and Paypal, being detained after breaking Kyiv curfew, as well as "insisting on personal compensation payments exceeding $35,000 per month from company accounts … and not accounting to the company for donated funds received which were received in personal or other accounts controlled by him."

Bain is seeking to remove Milburn from the company, as well as seeking damages totaling in excess of $50,000.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, Milburn took to social media to describe Bain as being "fired by me in December for financial fraud and sexual harassment."

"We have recently discovered that he is heavily invested in Russia," Milburn added. "He is trying to stop all Mozart operations and shut down the organization."

Milburn subsequently deleted the tweets, but told The Intercept that he still supports what he said.

“I apologize for allowing this individual to be affiliated with the Mozart Group,” Milburn wrote on Twitter. “We are reevaluating our vetting process and will not allow this to happen again.”

In response to Milburn’s accusations, Bain told The Intercept, “I am not going to comment on pending litigation, but recent posts and comments ensure defamation will be a much larger part of the proceedings than originally envisioned."

On January 31, Milburn posted to Twitter that the Mozart Group has "ended."

"The Mozart Group ended today. The name and entity -had become the subject of litigation and a distraction from our core mission: training Ukrainian soldiers and rescuing civilians," he wrote.


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