$350,000 paid by Tsvetan Vassilev to American lobbyists to include Geshev in Magnitsky Act


Dilyan Georgiev had negotiated for another meeting with Tsvetan Vasilev, weeks before he had been arrested in Bulgaria

At least $350,000 had been paid by Tsvetan Vassilev, the former majority owner of the bankrupt Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), who is hiding in Belgrade, to US lobbyists in order to get Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev included in the sanctions list under the global Magnitsky Act.

At the beginning of January this year, the daily newspaper “Trud” revealed that in 2022. Tsvetan Vassilev and his wife – Antoaneta, had hired four new lobbyists in the USA. Through former Congressman Ed Royce in late December, Tsvetan Vassilev had managed to get a letter sent from Congressman Warren Davidson to the US Treasury Secretary requesting the sanctioning of Ivan Geshev. It was later discovered that Royce had financed Davidson’s election campaign, and on Friday prosecutors revealed that even before the Congressman’s letter was circulated by his office it was in the possession of Dilyan Georgiev and Dimitar Stoyanov of BIRD. It was also revealed that Dilyan Georgiev had regularly visited Tsvetan Vassilev in Belgrade.

Two other lobbyists hired by Vasilevi are – D.S. Boggs, a former U.S. Senate counsel, an arbitration specialist with a career at the World Bank, and a young lawyer of Serbian origin – Milos Ivkovic. In the public records of lobbyists in the USA, the contract with D.S. Boggs was signed on behalf of the law firm King&Spalding LLP. Later, the law firm also concluded a lobbying contract with Serbian lawyer Milos Ivkovic on behalf of Tsvetan Vassilev.

In early December 2022, $350,000 was deposited into the bank account of the office of King&Spalding LLP at Truist Bank as the reason for the transfer was a review and evaluation of documents. This amount was not declared in the reports which Tsvetan Vassilev’s American lobbyists file every quarter and is separate from the fees – about $50,000 a year – which the former banker pays to law firms in the United States.

A check of the lobbyists’ public records indicates that for the first quarter of 2023, Tsvetan and Antoineta Vasilevi have extended their contract only with the law firm “King & Spalding LLP”, to whose account the sum of 350,000 dollars was transferred at the beginning of December. And on February 23, 2023, the American lobbyist D.S. Boggs submitted his report for representing Vasilevi before the American Congress and Senate on issues related to the sanctions imposed by the United States.

On Friday, the prosecutor’s office announced that they are investigating an organized criminal group that aims to discredit and subsequently remove magistrates and police officers. Among the names mentioned were those of Tsvetan Vasilev, Krasimir Kamenov – Karo and Romanian Ovidiu Semenescu. In one of Krasimir Kamenov’s conversations with an unknown person, the surname Bobokov was also mentioned. There are reports that Tsvetan Vasilev and Plamen Bobokov have met in recent months to coordinate common actions to remove the chief prosecutor. It is public knowledge that the Bobokovs also pay American lobbyists to represent them before the American authorities.

In the business card of D.S. Boggs, it is striking that he claims to be an experienced lawyer in the field of new financial services related to digital technologies and cryptocurrencies. On Friday, Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev announced that two of the defendants in “Nexo” affair had arrived in Belgrade. Later it became clear that these are the founders of the crypto bank – Antoni Trenchev and Kosta Kanchev. At the beginning of the year, when the Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against Nexo in Bulgaria, the company of Trenchev and Kanchev was forced to leave the American financial services market after being sanctioned. On Friday, Geshev admitted that the trip from Dubai to Belgrade of the owners of “Nexo” has a connection with the activity of the criminal group around Tsvetan Vasilev, Krasimir Kamenov and others, who aim to remove magistrates and policemen.

The engagement of American lobbyists by Tsvetan Vassilev, started in 2017 – so far, has been unsuccessful, with the exception of Davidson’s letter. A similar effect was achieved by the Bobokovs, who hired lobbyists in the second half of 2020, after the Prosecutor’s Office began an investigation against them for importing hazardous waste and burying it in various places in the country. This was followed by a series of publications in foreign media against the then governing officials and the Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the procurement of a letter on behalf of two congressmen.

One of the reasons why the American authorities did not take into account requests such as that of Tsvetan Vassilev for the inclusion of the Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev in the Magnitsky sanctions list was connected to the fact that the former banker owes his nine-year stay in Serbia to ties with Russian services and oligarchs. Moreover, shortly before CCB went bankrupt, almost ten years ago, Tsvetan Vassilev personally announced the entry as a shareholder with nearly 10% in the treasury of the Russian state foreign trade bank – VTB. Later, VTB was included in the sanctions lists of the USA and the European Union.

In addition, Tsvetan Vassilev’s relationship with Nikolay Malinov, who two months ago was sanctioned precisely under the Magnitsky Act for promoting Russian influence in Bulgaria, is publicly known. On his side, Malinov, who is accused of espionage in favor of Russia in our country, visited Moscow at least twice after the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24 last year. In both of Malinov’s public visits, he was received by the Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who is also sanctioned by the USA, and recently the American Prosecutor’s Office confiscated his property overseas. Nikolay Malinov proudly told in his interview that he personally introduced Tsvetan Vasilev to Konstantin Malofeev. It is believed that it was Malofeev who played a leading role in ensuring the peaceful stay of Tsvetan Vassilev in Serbia. It is not excluded that Vassilev also used funding from Russian sources to pay for expensive legal services and lobbying fees in the USA. Moreover, the Russian intelligence services have a direct interest in destabilizing the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, especially after more than 10 spies of the Russian Federation, using the cover of diplomats, were expelled after investigations of the institution managed by Ivan Geshev.

It is the Russian connections of the oligarchs investigated by the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office that make the official American authorities highly reserved towards all possible attempts to involve them, even more so than dubious criminal entities, in various lobbying schemes and even active events, the ultimate goal of which is to secure indulgence for the perpetrators of offenses and crimes in Bulgaria.

Facsimile of $350,000 bank transfer to US lawyer firm lobbying before US authorities to sanction Ivan Geshev

Tsvetan and Antoaneta Vasilevi have continued their contract with the lobbyist D. S. Bogs in 2023

The lobbyist D. S. Boggs from the office „King & Spalding LLP“, had received a transfer of $350,000 for review and evaluation of documents

A chat released by the Prosecutor’s Office shows that the detained Dilyan Georgiev was with Tsvetan Vasilev in Belgrade, five days after the transfer of the sum of 350,000 dollars

A chat released by the prosecutor’s office shows how Dilyan Georgiev and Dimitar Stoyanov the BIRD had the letter from US Congressman Warren Davidson before it was even released by the office of the politic in Washington


1 comment

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