Russian Businessman Charged with Embezzling from Bulgarian Fuel Retailer

Energy | August 14, 2012, Tuesday // 14:01|  views

Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Anna Popova, lawyer of Russian businessman Denis Ershov, has confirmed his arrest in connection with an investigation for financial fraud at fuel retailer Petrol Holding AD.

Popova explained Tuesday that her client had been charged with embezzling BGN 1 M from Petrol Holding AD and had been subsequently released on a bail of BGN 500 000.

Ershov was arrested Monday evening at the Sarafovo airport in Burgas upon his return from a one-day overseas journey.

Popova announced that the first court summons for Ershov had been sent in May, while he had been in hospital since April.

Upon receiving the summons, the lawyer duly informed the prosecuting authority about Ershov's whereabouts.

Popova, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), said that medical experts had visited Ershov to certify his condition right after he had undergone surgery.

The Russian businessman was taken to the building of the the Sofia City Investigation Service under police escort at noon on Tuesday.

He told journalists that he was unaware of the reasons for hos arrest.

On June 28, Erhsov was summoned by court security officers at the Grand Hotel Pomorie where he was receiving post-operative rehabilitation therapy.

One day later, on June 29, a nationwide search warrant was issued for him and he was banned from leaving the country.

The latter restriction was lifted a few days ago.

On Monday evening, Ershov was taken to the Burgas Investigation Service after getting off a plane at the Sarafovo Airport.

The flight had been executed by Russian Airlines.

Ershov has been waging a corporate battle the ownership of fuel retailer Petrol AD for nearly two years.

In June 2012, Kalmyk multi-millionaire Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that Swiss-based Credit Mediterranee had bought a 52.5% stake in the company, including the stake of Ershov (47.5%) and of Alexander Melnik (5%).

Ilyumzhinov, as cited by, claimed that he had negotiated agreements with Mitko Sabev, the owner of the remaining 47.5% stake in Petrol, on a total of 17 court claims filed between Ershov and Sabev.

In 2000, Ershov was banned from entering the country for a period for 10 years as a threat to the national security.

Four years later, the Sofia City Court and the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) declared the ban null and void.

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Tags: Denis Ershov, Petrol Holding, Petrol AD, Mitko Sabev, fuel retailer


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