Former Bulgarian Heating Utility Head Faces New Embezzlement Charges

Crime | December 13, 2010, Monday // 12:06|  views

Valentin Dimitrov, former head of Sofia's heating utility, faces a new 10-year sentence for embezzlement. Photo by BGNES

The controversial former head of Sofia's heating utility, Valentin Dimitrov, faces a new 10-year sentence for embezzlement on Monday, according to the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office

According to prosecutors, Valentin Dimitrov together with managers Georgi Rogachev, Plamern Vasilev, Ilko Yotsev and Georgi Nenkov, caused losses to Sofia's "Toplofikatsiya" heating company during the period of 2003-2006 by buying luxury goods and spending company money on holidays. Dimitrov even installed a Jacuzzi in his office despite the troubled financial condition of the state owned company.

Dimitrov was arrested after the heating utility had to file for bankruptcy in 2005. In addition to the lavish purchases, it was discovered he has wired over EUR 1,5 M in an Austrian bank. Huge amounts were also found in his mother's accounts and in safe deposit boxes. The transactions took place during the 1999 – 2006 period.

The scandal led to the dismissal of then Economy and Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov in June 2007, after a senior investigator accused the minister of trying to blackmail him and influence the investigation.

In 2009 Dimitrov was sentenced to 14 years behind bars on another charge – money draining from the Heating Utility. He is appealing the sentence and the Court is yet to rule on the appeal.

In May 2008 Dimitrov was also sentenced to five years in jail, for not declaring BGN 10 M to the tax authorities while he was manager of Pro Mark ltd.

There have been two more trials against Dimitrov. One is for abeyance, and the other is for money laundering. Dimitrov's mother has also been charged for money laundering. In July 2008 his wife, Svetlana Dimitrova, was sentenced for blackmail.

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Tags: Valentin Dimitrov, sofia, heating utility, embezzlement


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