Vassilev with 4 attempts to steal BGN 300m TV channel
9 March, 2018For almost 4 years fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev has been hindering the bankruptcy proceedings of TV7. In that period he made 4 attempts to steal the channel, which is among the assets most generously funded by CorpBank. Three of the attempts were made with the cooperation of his Russian partner Konstantin Malofeev and his people; the fourth – through his loyal servant Yordan Zlatkov, who aided Vassilev in trying to steal the Health and Wellness hotel chain, another asset funded by CorpBank. This was revealed by a check in the Commercial Register, showing that even though the process of declaring TV7 bankrupt was launched in 2014 it was concluded as late as December 2017 with a decision of the Sofia Court of Appeals. Thus, the magistrates finally ended the saga of the case repeatedly sabotaged by Vassilev and his people. If there is one example best describing CorpBank’s draining and the fugitive banker’s Russian ties, it is arguably TV7. As we have written before, between 2011 and 2014 nearly BGN 300m were poured into the channel by the lender that Vassilev purposefully collapsed. The money did not come in direct loans (there is only one for BGN 7.8m – editor’s note) but in indirect unsecured loans originally extended to Technological Centre – Institute for Microelectronics, which then transferred it to Crown Media, TV7’s owner. This makes BGN 100m per year, which means about one-fifteenth of the money syphoned off the bank was invested in the media outlet. This is one of the reasons why Vassilev has been trying to hinder the bankruptcy proceedings for four years in a bid to get a hold of the channel. The other is that he saw TV7 as a golden opportunity to secure a deal with his Russian partners, led by oligarch Malofeev (see the article above). Once TV7 lost its licence the Russians had no interest in it but in September 2017 Vassilev made a final desperate attempt to assert his control over the media through the company Voyager Resort, owned by Yordan Zlatkov. However, the court shot that down,TV7 was declared bankrupt and an injunction was imposed on it. That was the end of the attempts to prevent the state from trying to cash in the asset. Despite the fugitive banker’s and his cohort’s efforts to sever the umbilical cord between CorpBank crediting and TV7, documents attesting to the fact that the millions of levs were truly invested in the channel were presented during the court case. Interestingly enough, they were provided by Crown Media, which insisted that it be recognised as the channel’s main creditor.