Former Bulgarian Heating Utility Head Sentenced for EmbezzlementCrime | December 14, 2010, Tuesday // 17:37| views
Valentin Dimitrov, former head of Sofia's heating utility received a 3-year sentence for embezzlement. Photo by BGNES
Valentin Dimitrof the former Head of Sofia's heating utility, has been sentenced for just 3 instead of 10 years on embezzlement charges.
" This trial is lead in the media, not in the courtroom," Dimitrov protested during the trial, stating that he is innocent and its coverage is biased.
According to the verdict, 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.
Valentin Dimitrov, however, has been found not guilty on two other charges, concerning him signing documents which have allegedly caused damage to the heating utility.
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.
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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