Bulgarian Registry Agency Ex CEO Charged with Fraud
The Prosecutor's Office has pressed legal charges against Violeta Nikolova, the former Executive Director of the Bulgarian Registry Agency.
She is charged with embezzlement in the amount of BGN 53 000 and is at large on own recognizance.
According to the indictment, between July 2011 and December 2011, in her capacity of CEO, she had embezzled State budget money in the amount of BGN 53 000 from funds she was in charge of managing.
In order to benefit herself, and employees Galena Slavova, Olga Stoyanova, and Venelin Ivanov, she has abused her power in office.
Nikolova was dismissed in February 2012 over the poor results of the audit of the institution and the substantial financial incentives she had awarded to herself.
It was revealed that she had received a total of BGN 73 000 in bonus payments for 2011, BGN 25 000 of which had arrived after an order by Margaritra Popova, then-Justice Minister and now Vice President, while the remaining BGN 48 000 had been ordered by Nikolova in person.
In her property declaration filed at the time she was still CEO, she has listed "nothing to declare." Nikolova has also declared EUR 100 in her bank account, while her husband declared EUR 900.
In 2011, however, she has acquired an apartment for BGN 106 000, through a mortgage loan. Nikolova also has a BGN 20 000 consumer loan.
She was appointed CEO of the Registry Agency in October 2010 and is remembered by the long lines of people before the Agency's offices.
Shortly after Nikolova's dismissal, it was reported that Bulgaria was facing a fine of EUR 800 000 by the European Commission over a delay in the introduction of new software at the Registry Agency, which would have allowed the online registration of European companies in the Agency's database.
The public procurement tender for the software was launched in March 2010 only to get suspended three months later due to a funding shortage.