Valentin Parapunov and his wife Kostadinka, a family from Bulgaria’s southern town of Petrich, who are behind the controversial project for guesthouses near the mineral springs in the site “Rupite”, owe BGN 830,000 to the National Revenue Agency (NRA). The tax agents cannot collect it because the companies that have piled up this debt have been transferred to strawmen. Parapunovi have come up clean through property scams with the “Rupite” terrain on which they will now build instead of repaying their debt to the Treasury.

The investors – the Parapunovi family. Photo – public profile on Facebook

The property, in which Parapunov is investing, was acquired by him and his company “Silviya-Kom” Ltd. in 2006 for BGN 1,200 and has an area of 11.9 decares. Already then, in the document for the transfer of the property, it was stated that the terrain comes with construction restrictions – “resort resources zone A; housing and industrial construction, geological prospecting and others are banned“.

Three years later, in 2009, the property was sold to “Metal Group Industry” owned by Atanas Bozhkov. His wife, Dosta Bozhkova, owns the company “C 5 Trade”, which on paper is the investor in the “Rupite” property, although Valentin Parapunov is publicly acting as such. The previous name of “C 5 Trade” is “Pepino” and until 2011 it has been owned by Parapunov’s daughter – Silviya. The fact that in 2014 Sylvia Parapunova donated to it a real estate property in Petrich speaks of the closeness of this company to Parapunovi. Obviously, these are screen legal entities that serve the business interests of the family.

In 2011, “Metal Group Industry” sold the same property to “Silviya-Kom” for BGN 9,800. A year later, “Silviya-Kom” sold the site to “Silvia-Kom Ltd”. The prized property has been mortgaged in UniCredit Bulbank together with other properties of the companies against a loan of EUR 1 million.

Under the “Gamishev” scheme

Meanwhile, both companies declared bankruptcy, were transferred to strawmen and changed names. “Sylvia-Kom” became “Sidero” and “Silviya-Kom Ltd” became “Li T D”. The reason for this move is banal: “Silviya-Kom” had a debt of BGN 401,750.00 to the NRA, and “Silviya-Kom Ltd” owed BGN 429,702. These debts are deemed uncollectible because the companies did not have property to be used as collateral. Both companies are present in the lists of debtors to the NRA.

As Bivol revealed earlier, Dimitar Gamishev, a lawmaker from the ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) has used the same popular debtor scheme to get rid of a company with big debt to the Treasury. The scheme is still working because of a loophole in the legislation that allows the transfer of companies without a tax certificate.

The NRA listed “Sidero” as a debtor without collateral in July 2014 but there is no evidence of it actively seeking to collect the due taxes. However, UniCredit wanted its money and was active. This has led to a public sale of the real estate in “Rupite” by the private enforcement agent Violina Toteva. In the public sale notice (see here) it is explicitly stated that the property falls within the boundary of a protected area.

Prior to the public sale, “C 5 Trade” has attempted to acquire the property without money by becoming a creditor of “Sylvia-Kom Ltd”. However, the incorporation of the screen company as a creditor had been late as the Bank had an advantage.

The other screen company – “Metal Group Industry” – also took part in the auction. It acquired the property at the beginning of October 2015 against BGN 24,000 – an amount that is really insufficient to cover the loan to the Bank, not to mention the huge debt to the Treasury. Within a few days, “Metal Group Industry” sold the property to “C 5 Trade”.

“C 5 Trade” then divided the terrain into four smaller properties and managed to change their status from farmland to land “for construction under the quick procedure”. The decision of the Municipal Council in Petrich to change the purpose and the Detailed Development Plan of the properties was voted in December 2015 or only two months after the company acquired the land. Subsequently, “C 5 Trade” applied for and obtained building permits to erect 15 guesthouses, a restaurant, and a swimming pool. Obviously, the status of protected lands has not been an obstacle to large-scale construction.

The conclusion from this short property and debt saga is that if State institutions worked, the property could now be State-owned, and Parapunov, the investor, would pay his debts instead of building a hotel complex in a protected area.

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