Bivol received an email with a letter from citizens that had been harmed by the bankruptcy of Corpbank (Corporate Commercial Bank, CCB). It describes with specific facts and entities a realistic capital draining scheme through unsecured loans to connected parties, manipulation of and speculation with financial and trading instruments, and subsequent asset plundering. We decided to publish this text because our own investigations had shown that the described circumstances are authentic and can be proven. The scheme is an example and a sample of banking resource management practices. The end result is known to the public and can be defined as “technology of the corporate bankruptcy”.

Dear journalists from Bivol,

We follow all of your investigations and we are convinced that your media is the only one that can publish an authentic description of specific transactions and connections. It reveals in an irrefutable way how a lot from the CCB money was drained and how the financial capital inadequacy of the bankrupt Bank was actually accumulated.

What we know, and for which there are credible documents and evidence, suggests that the plundering has no first or second series, it is continuous.

We find examples in many places, but such a brutal scheme can only happen under conditions of uncontrolled power.

There is no “primary” and “secondary” plundering of CCB

On December 12, 2007, the well-known investment fund “Hedge Investment” capitalized its company “Sinektik”, which it had purchased a month earlier, with BGN 8,780,000. Thus, the minimum required capital of BGN 5,000 suddenly skyrocketed and “Sinektik” became a powerful investment entity. The background of the company until that point is particularly interesting. It was registered in mid-2005. Several months later, it changed its owner to an individual, named Victoria Georgieva Ivanova and bought from “TC-IME” the ownership of “Building Resort”. The latter owns the “Vasiliko” waterfront hotel in the town of Tsarevo on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast. “Building” is currently on the list of debtors of CCB with BGN 14,379,402. “TC-IME” is on that list with BGN 181,278,024, while “Hedge Investment” owes BGN 101,125,396. These facts make clear the genetics of the acquisition, activation and financing of the insignificant “Sinektik” company with millions from the Bank. It is important to clarify that only ten days after the transaction with “TC-IME”, “Sinektik” in turn sold the recently-acquired “Building Resort” to “Arescom” – another borrower of CCB, owning BGN 31,557,727. Several months later, on September 13, 2006, Tsvetan Radoev Vassilev (CCB owner and majority shareholder – editor’s note) transferred to “Sinektik” the capital of “Aquafinance” and turned it into a sole owner of this company. In addition, “Aquafinance” is the owner of “Health and Wellness”, which is also a major debtor of CCB with the amount of BGN 29,342,306. The link between these companies is Bisser Lazov, the former trusted man of the CCB owner and the current “protected witness” of Prosecutor General, Sotir Tsatsarov. Lazov is a former manager of “Sinektik”, current owner of “Aquafinance” and a member of the Board of Directors of “Hedge Investment”. This is a truly respect-deserving scheme with CCB-affiliated companies in which hundreds of millions of the Bank’s portfolio had been poured. Money that will hardly ever be paid back.

On December 20, 2011, “Hedge Invest Bulgaria” sold to “Bromak” 100% of its capital in “Sinektik” with a nominal value of BGN 8,785,000 for BGN 9,800,000, i.e. for a profit of over BGN 1 million. “Bromak” is 100% owned by Tsvetan Radoev Vassilev.

 

A contract between “Hedge Investment” and “Bromak” for the shares of “Sinektik”

On December 29, 2011, or in only six business days between Christmas and the New Year, the CCB-controlled “Eurobuild Project” decided to buy from Vassilev the newly-acquired company, already for EUR 6,450,000. This means that “Sinektik’s” price mysteriously, but drastically increased only in hours and “Bromak” scored a net profit of about BGN 3 million as a “Christmas gift”. The contract was finalized three months later. There is detail in the way of payment that warrants real astonishment. EUR 4,700,000 has been paid by a deposit in the “Bromak” account in CCB as early as December 29, 2011, on the very day when the “Eurobuild” decision was made. The remaining balance of EUR 1,700,000 was paid on the day of the signing of the contract’, which means “in cash”. The new owner “Eurobuild Project” is in turn a debtor of CCB with BGN 9,374,000.

Decision of “Eurobuild Project” for the purchase of “Sinektik” from “Bromak”; EUR 4,700,000 were paid on the same day, before the contract was signed

So far, we investigated the real-life inflating of a firm with real money from the bank – a piggybank that serves for enrichment and was created to become a heavy weapon for corporate raid.

“Sinektik” – a raiding weapon and Bisser Lazov

The sole owner, “Eurobuild”, installed Bisser Andonov Lazov as its manager in “Sinektik” on July 28, 2014, i.e. at the time when CCB was already placed under special supervision by the central bank (Bulgarian National Bank, BNB). Also at that time, Bisser Andonov Lazov was already a “protected witness” of the prosecutor’s office in the investigation into the draining of CCB. On October 8, Bisser Lazov was replaced by Georgi Petkov Georgiev (known by the expletive nickname “The A..e” and bound to CCB with the loan of BGN 31,471,927 granted to “Interhotels”) together with the utterly unknown Stoyan Angelov Stoyanov. This situation lasted for only one month and on November 14, Bisser Lazov was reinstated as manager of “Sinektik”. It should be noted that just days earlier, CCB was officially declared bankrupt by the BNB. What is Bisser Lazov’s task in the management of this company?

Besides being generously funded by “Hedge Investment” and involved in the acquisition of corporate assets, “Sinektik” had been used for corporate raids of functioning businesses against loans from CCB. From the very beginning, it acquired capital from two companies in the energy sector. The conditions were to increase through revolving loans from CCB the share of “Sinektik” in them, which reached 50% of their capital. This was a typical “raid” of gas companies “Metamodule” and “CNG Maritza”. The ownership of 50% of the shares of the former, amounting to BGN 1,203,000, and 50% of the shares of the latter, amounting to BGN 1,353,000, has been invariably coordinated during the years by Bisser Lazov. We are talking about real assets and real capital here.

Bisser Lazov, as Managing Director of “Sinektik”, transferred on November 28,2014, (two weeks after his reinstatement) the share participation in the two gas companies to “Gas Trading 2002”. The company is owned by Velin Nikolov Georgiev. However, payments from “Gas Trading 2002” to “Sinektik” for the transferred shares of the two companies were never made. This is established from the Annual Financial Statements of “Gas Trading 2002” for 2014, 2015 and 2016. All CCB borrowers, involved in the described scheme (apart from “Gas Trading” and “Bromak”), have ceased filing Annual Financial Statements in the Trade Register since 2012. This was an escape from public scrutiny and an indicator of the upcoming crisis.

Under the contracts for the purchase and sale of the shares, the payment term was December 28, 2014. It has not been complied with, but there are no objections and claims from the seller “Sinektik”. In fact, this peculiarity in the deal means one thing, namely that the shares in these companies were practically donated to Velin Georgiev. Bisser Lazov left “Sinektik” again on March 13, 2015, but the firm was already completely emptied of assets. Its fate was predetermined and it became the property of the Serbian “Botsa DOO”. How logical.

Take the money and run!

Velin Georgiev is known as the “Greenhouse Boss” from Southwestern Bulgaria. He is associated with the ownership of several companies with debts to CCB: “V&VGD Greenhouses”, with BGN 54,857,060, where he is a manager and holds about two-thirds of the property through a company owned by his wife “VGD-Commerce”, and “Orchid” owned by Velin Georgiev with a credit of nearly BGN 1 million. When he received the assets of the two gas companies from Bisser Lazov, Georgiev transferred the ownership of “Gas Trading” to his nephew Radoslav Georgiev from the village of Katuntsi. Radoslav, in turn, sold the shares of one of the two companies, specifically “Metamodule”, to the other partner, Anton Iliev, who is a buyer with his personal company “Module Invest”. What happened to “Metamodule”? The latest Annual Financial Statement of “Metamodule” for 2016 reports own capital of BGN 2,406,000.

The fixed assets of the company amount to BGN 3,151,000.

The accumulated loss amounts to BGN 15,517,000 by 2016. By adding to it the non-serviced loan to CCB, amounting to BGN 19,409,000, the total amount of the liability increases to BGN 34,926,000. Any sound-minded person will conclude that this is corporate death. But things in Bulgaria do not follow normal business logic. On January 26, 2016, “Module Invest”, owned by Anton Iliev, purchased from “Gas Trading 2002”, as we stated above, owned by Radoslav Georgiev, from the village of Katuntsi, the 50% of the capital of “Metamodule” for BGN 1,203,000!? This is the same “Metamodule” with assets on balance of BGN 3,151,000 and liabilities of… nearly BGN 35 million.

There is no business logic, there is no philosophical logic, there is no example in the world of selling a debt of nearly 35 million and getting 1,203,000 against it.

However, this was possible for the unknown financial champion from the village of Katuntsi, who deserves to be recruited by the IMF as an expert.

 

“Gas Trading” sold for BGN 1,203,000 in real money 50% of the shares in a company with a BGN 35 million in liabilities, mainly to CCB

We ask how did Velin Georgiev convince Anton Iliev, manager of “Metamodule”, to consolidate the shares of the long-drained and indebted “Metamodule” in order to own, through its sole-owned companies “Express Module” – 50% and “Module Invest” 50% of it, i.e. to acquire the entire ownership? The hypothesis is that it is about buying peace of mind against racketeering. At the same time, the gas businessman obtained the option of possessing all of the equipment of “Metamodule”, sequestered by the CCB trustees, which he attached to himself. Meanwhile, all client contracts were transferred from the bankrupt “Metamodule” to liability-clean “Express Module”, which is also his property. In this way, the latter company managed to generate enough revenue to be able to buy out for dirt cheap the assets and equipment it has been using and that were sold by private bailiffs, serving the CCB. The result is that the multi-million loans are left unpaid; they will never be paid, while the assets acquired through them become impaired and remain in the hands of the same people who caused the Bank’s losses – a brilliant example of a complex scheme for a subsequent drain.

The other company, “CNG Maritza” was subjected to brutal raid by Velin Georgiev. In connection with this case banker Tsvetan Vassilev personally wrote in his own blog:

“…It is not known why the “report”* repeatedly lacks cases of theft of property, the acquisition of which was financed by the bank; cases that were reported by the press many times and brought to the attention of the Prosecutor’s Office. The main protagonists in them are the main witness of the Prosecutor’s Office, Bisser Lazov, and his thieving group. Among the most scandalous cases are ………………… the theft of 50% of the two gas distribution companies “CNG Maritsa” and “Metamodule”, with the help of companies of another debtor of the bank – Velin Georgiev (Greenhouses Petrich).”

*The report of the CCB trustees

The banker’s admission is clear and precise; he directly defines the deal as “theft.” But it does not explain why the same Velin Georgiev publicly boasts that he is having drinks until dawn “with Tsetso” (Tsvetan Vassilev – editor’s note) in Belgrade (Vassilev is in exile in the Serbian capital – editor’s note). One of Georgiev’s companies, recently transferred to third parties, such as “Agro in 2001” bought two apartments in Tsarevo (152 square meters) and in “Saints Konstantin and Elena” resort on the northern coast (360 square meters) from Vassilev’s daughter Radosveta, together with the adjacent ideal parts of the terrains, in April and May 2015, i.e. half a year after CCB’s bankruptcy. The properties are currently seized by the Commission for Seizing Illegally Acquired Property (KONPI). Meanwhile, there is evidence of Velin Georgiev claiming to third parties that he has given money to Bisser Lazov that is not entered anywhere in official accounting documents, i.e. if this is true, this is either corruption or a serious violation of the tax law by the person “protected” by the prosecutor’s office. However, #WHO will check this out? The conclusion is that if the financial interest of “Sinektik” has been intentionally violated, this actually degrades the financial situation of “Eurobuild Project”, which in turn cannot return the money to CCB.

A question with a possible, rather shocking answer pops from the complexly-designed scheme for absorbing the money and assets of CCB: Is it possible for a player like Georgiev to be a “crossing point” of the interests of the loudly-declared ” irreconcilable “enemy camps around Tsvetan Vassilev and Bisser Lazov (respectively Delyan Peevski) in the redistribution of what is left from CCB!?

Readers of Bivol harmed by CCB’s bankruptcy

From the editorial office:

Bivol gives the right to opinion and replay to all parties affected by the above text, if they wish to do so. We reserve the right to keep track of the topic and its developments over time.

 

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