5-Year Prison Term for Ex Sofia Heating Utility Boss Revoked

Crime | December 22, 2011, Thursday // 17:15|  views

Valentin Dimitrov, former executive director of heating utility Toplofikatsia Sofia, has had his five-year prison term revoked by the second-instance court. Photo by BGNES

The Sofia City Court (SCC) has canceled the five-year prison sentence handed down to Valentin Dimitrov aka Toploto (The Warm), former executive director of heating utility Toplofikatsia Sofia, for violations of the Currency Act.

In 2008, the Sofia Regional Court declared Dimitrov guilty of failing to declare deals worth over BGN 10 M before the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) as a manager of the Pro Mark EOOD company.

The Sofia Regional Court acquitted Dimitrov on all other counts pressed by the prosecution involving breaches of the Currency Act.

On December 22, 2011, the SCC revoked the decision of the first-instance court in its entirety and returned the case to the Sofia Regional Prosecutor's Office.

The judge panel noted that the indictment against Dimitrov had flaws that had to be removed but it also found irregularities in the work of the court of first instance.

This is not the first sentence handed down to him.

Toploto was arrested after Toplofikatsiya Sofia had to file for bankruptcy in 2005.

He went on trial for money laundering to the tune of BGN 10 M. His mother was a co-defendant, but died at the age of 86 from a heart condition.

On December 14, 2010, Dimitrov, received a 3-year sentence, instead of 10 years, on embezzlement charges.

Dimitrov protested the verdict, stating that he was innocent and that media coverage was biased.

According to the ruling, Toplofikatsiya Sofia was drained of BGN 2 M in the period of 2003-2006 by Dimitrov and 4 other managers.

The money was spent on luxury goods and holidays.

Dimitrov, however, was found not guilty on two other charges, involving signing documents which had allegedly caused damage to the heating utility.

In addition to the lavish purchases, it was discovered he had wired over EUR 1.5 M to an Austrian bank. Huge amounts were also found in his mother's accounts and in safe deposit boxes.

In 2009, Dimitrov was sentenced to 14 years in prison, with confiscation of his entire property, over the embezzlement of BGN 6 M from Toplofikatsiya Sofia.

None of the verdicts has so far taken effect.

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Tags: Valentin Dimitrov, Toplofikatsiya Sofia, heating utility, embezzlement, Sofia City Court, Sofia Regional Court, Sofia Regional Prosecutor's Office


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