Varna court approves extradition of Bulgarian suspect to US to face computer fraud crime charges

Written by on August 13, 2013 in Bulgaria - No comments

The District Court in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna said on August 13 2013 that it had agreed to the extradition to the United States of Vanyo Minkov (31), who faces US federal charges related to identity theft, fraud and tax crimes.

Mikov is accused of conspiracy to deceive the US federal government through phone and a tax fraud scheme in violation of articles of the Federal Code, conspiracy to steal someone else’s identity (personal data and bank information theft) in order to receive tax concessions, conspiracy to commit crimes against the US with the use of a computer.

The Varna District Court ruling is subject to appeal in the Varna Appellate Court within seven days.

In approving the US extradition application, the court rejected defence claims of procedural shortcomings.

The alleged crimes were committed in Bulgaria but against individuals and companies in the US.

Defence counsel for Mikov said that Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov would be approached about an alleged lack of documentation justifying the request for Mikov to be extradited to the US.

The defence alleged that documentation relation to questioning of Mikov as well as searches in the course of the investigation had been sent directly to the US instead of being available to Bulgarian authorities.

Defence lawyer Branimir Balachev asked the court to seek assurances from the US that Mikov would be given a fair trial. Local media quoted Balachev as saying that there was a lack of many materials related to the case, which he suspected to be deliberate.

Prosecutor Galina Mincheva said that all procedures had been complied with. The extradition request had come from a US federal court on the basis of sufficient affidavits.

The defence also argued that in spite of the allegation that the theft of information from American debit and credit card had been traced to Mikov’s IP address, Mikov had used a wi-fi internet router which could be accessed by others.

(Photo: ilker/sxc.hu)

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