Bulgaria’s prosecutor’s office said on April 7 that it pressed charges of malfeasance in office against former Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) deputy governor in charge of bank supervision Roumen Simeonov, as part of the ongoing investigation into the events that led Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender, Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), being put under the central bank’s administration.
Simeonov failed to exercise his duties as head of bank supervision at BNB between February 2010 and June 2013, when his term expired. Despite being notified, in a report by the central bank’s inspectorate in 2010, about “numerous breaches in the operations of CCB that could threaten the financial interests of depositors,” Simeonov failed to implement the measures stipulated by law, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The crime was perpetrated in the interest of CCB’s shareholders and risked creating significant damages to the financial interests of the Bulgarian state, the statement said. If found guilty, he could face between one and eight years in jail, as well as a ban from holding public office.
Simeonov is the second deputy governor of the central bank indicted in the CCB investigation. Tsvetan Gounev, who was elected as Simeonov’s replacement as deputy governor in charge of bank supervision in 2013 and sacked by MPs in January 2015, faces the same charges.
As part of the same investigation, prosecutors have charged five former senior managers at the bank. Majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev was accused in absentia of embezzling 206 million leva (about 105 million euro) from the bank – he is currently in Serbia, fighting an extradition request lodged by Bulgarian authorities, and denies any wrongdoing.
(For full coverage of the CCB situation from The Sofia Globe, click here. Bulgarian National Bank photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer.)