Mafia sets up another circus tent in US

Following Magnitsky Act fiasco and RICO case getting stuck, oligarchs take a third shot

After seeing that Bulgaria does not believe the oligarchs' crocodile tears and that its citizens no longer fall for their vaudeville tricks, the multi-millionaires of the country's murky period of transitioning to democracy decided to take their circus act across the pond and inundate the American society and institutions with lies. Yet again.

The brothers Atanas and Plamen Bobokov, aka the Lords of Junk, who have been indicted for poisoning the Bulgarian environment and citizens with toxic waste, and Minyu Staykov, who stands accused of misappropriation of EU funs and is a defendant in a separate case involving tax crimes and money laundering, hired the same US lobbyist firm - within several months apart - to clean up their image with laughable lies and blatant libels. Including about Bulgaria.

From the documents filed by the lobbyist company Alexandria Group International under the FARA law, which requires every US company working for a foreign enterprise or natural person to disclose the details of its contracts with them, it becomes clear that the firm has been contacted by even more potential Bulgarian clients involved in three criminal cases. Their identity has not been officially revealed. However, all signs point to the Bobokov brothers' family friend, gambling tzar with record number of charges (19) Vasil Bozhkov, being one of them. The fact is that his name is mentioned in the lobbyists' exposes filed with the US Department of State in relation to their contract with the Bobokov brothers. Furthermore, he was painted as a victim of repressions and of an attempt for a hostile takeover of his business, just like the Bobokov brothers.

This is the third US smokescreen created by oligarchs under criminal investigation in Bulgaria for the past three years. The current overseas campaign launched by the mobster fellowship follows in the footsteps of Tsvetan Vassilev's two attempts to make himself out to be innocent through lies about the country and his enemies. First was his claim under the Magnitsky Act, then came the RICO case. Both legal actions were smokescreens. The Magnitsky one was a complete fiasco and the RICO one has gotten stuck in mud. However, this has not deterred the mobster bosses, who are doing their level best to avoid retribution for their crimes, from taking the same path. To that end, they have joined forces seemingly in the hope that together they may succeed where Tsvetan Vassilev rightfully failed. Their hope is baffling considering that, even though the company Vassilev used was different, the documents filed by the lobbyist firm Alexandria Group International show that the Bobokov brothers, family friends of the fugitive banker, intend to use the same template, relying on blatant lies.

The Lords of Junk have signed a contract with the US firm for the period between 1 July and 31 December 2020. Initial reports put the value of the contract at $130,000, of which $78,000 has already been paid. The contract with Minyu Staykov has the same value, the term of application is between November 2020 and April 2021, the documents filed under FARA show. Two “exposes” have been filed under the Bobokov contract, which describe their case in fantasy-genre terms. Even though they have officially been paid for by the Lords of Junk, the exposes defend not only them, but gambling tzar Vasil Bozhkov as well.

These exposes lack even a single attribute of a legal document. They offer no evidence in support of the assertions they make. Instead, they are full of laughable theses that paint the Bobokov brothers as “innocent victims” arrested by members of a “Pretorian Guard” that is supposedly an heir to the “communist State Security”. The Lords of Junk, who are being investigated by the prosecutor's offices in three different countries are presented as “hard-working middle-aged entrepreneurs” with “clean records”. Both they and Vasil Bozhkov are described as cleaner than fresh snow and victims of attempts for “illegal takeover of their business”. Against this backdrop, the figures that the authors of this vaudeville story choose to blame for the alleged attacks shouldn't surprise you. Once again using the template created by Tsvetan Vassilev, the authors point a finger at the country's prime minister, prosecutor general… and opposition lawmaker Delyan Peevski.

No evidence is provided in support of these claims or the alleged connection between Peevski, the ruling party and the Prosecutor's Office. There could be no such evidence because the claims are false. However, that has not stopped the authors from attaching to Peevski, who has become enemy №1 of the oligarchy, not only some imaginary connection to the cabinet and the prosecutor general, but a plethora of absurd lies that have been disproven dozens of times with facts but continue to be disseminated by the oligarchy's media machine for fake news. Those include claims that he owns 80% of the distributions of newspapers in Bulgaria (a business that he has had nothing to do with and that has been under state control for nearly a year now); that he owns a big share of the daily newspapers (his media group consists of six of a total of over 230 publications in the country); that he owns the “second largest TV network” (even though his media group has never owned a radio or a TV channel).

At the same time, there is no mention of the fact that Peevski not only has nothing to do with the Prosecutor's Office, but that a representative of that office ordered the Patent Office to erase the trademark of Telegraph, the largest newspaper in Bulgaria and part of Peevski's media group. No mention of the fact that, unlike the multi-millionaires of the so-called Transition Period, Peevski has nothing to do with the State Security. Another significant and irrefutable fact is also conspicuously missing - that Peevski is a lawmaker in opposition. In other words, the only power he really has is his right to legislative initiative. But if they were to admit that, the authors of this fable would not only be admitting to lying, but to the fact that the MP has become enemy №1 of the mafia of the Transition Period namely because of his legislative initiatives, which have thrown a wrench into the oligarchic clique's illegal schemes. Another factor that has earned him this status are the constant investigations his publications conduct into these individuals' dealings and the State Security puppeteers who stand behind them and their getting rich in the first place.

And so, while written by a US lobbyist firm, these “exposes” follow an old Bulgarian tradition of thieves crying thief and pin the crimes of the US firm's clients on Peevski. Again, following an old Bulgarian tradition, people who have been amassing wealth through corruption schemes and at the expense of Bulgarian citizens for decades, now libel the country abroad not only to save their own hide, but to be able to continue syphoning off the country's resources. The libels, the tax irregularities and the syphoning off, however, are crimes both under the Bulgarian Penal Code and US law. It is highly unlikely that the latest attempts of the indicted and charged oligarchs to make themselves out to be victims through lies and smokescreens will change this fact.

Billionaire paedophile who committed suicide sponsored lobbyist for fugitive banker

The lobbyist tactics that Tsvetan Vassilev has used to make himself out to be a victim have not only failed miserably, but were touched by the Jeffrey Epstein scandal as well. The billionaire, who was charged with sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors, killed himself while in custody. Among the things revealed in his case was the fact that he donated $50,000 to the election campaign of democratic candidate for governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson in 2006. The report was confirmed by a spokesperson for Richardson. It is the former governor of New Mexico who was the main mouthpiece for Vassilev's claim under the Magnitsky Act. It was later uncovered that their friendship had a price tag - $5m from the purposefully failed CorpBank, that were paid to the Atlantic Council, where Richardson sat on the board over a period of four years. Separately, the fugitive banker paid $50,000 to the US lobbyist firm Jason Waterman International.

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