Prosecutors have initiated criminal proceedings against Mitica Dragomir and six other persons suspected of embezzlement, tax evasion, and money laundering. Damages – EUR 3 million.
The offences took place in connection with selling TV broadcasting rights over football matches.
Dumitru Dragomir, former president of the Professional Football League (LPF), was detained yesterday by Bucharest prosecutors for 24 hours after he and six other persons had been brought in for questioning at Bucharest Police headquarters, in connection with a case involving the sale of television broadcasting rights over First League matches.
All seven persons were picked up and brought in based on warrants issued in relation to the case. The operation was preceded by searches conducted yesterday morning at 11 residences in Bucharest and Ilfov, including LPF headquarters, for suspicion of tax evasion, embezzlement and money laundering resulting in damages of EUR 3 million. Sources among the investigators, cited by Mediafax, claim searches were also conducted at the former LPF president’s home, who is suspected of cashing in a considerable commission for selling the television broadcasting rights of First League matches. Contacted by phone, Dumitru Dragomir confirmed that the investigators searched his home, but failed to inform him of the scope of the search. “Yes, people, they came in this morning and now they are gone. I don’t know who they worked for – maybe the Police Department – and they didn’t tell me what they were looking for,” Dragomir said. When asked whether he was asked to hand in any documents from his home, the former LPF president ironically replied, “They asked me for an 18-year-old girl, but I couldn’t fulfill their request.”
According to a Bucharest Police press release, based on the information gathered so far, “it appears that between 2011 and 2013, the persons in question committed offenses related to selling the television broadcasting rights for First League football matches.”
The press release confirms the rumour circulating in the media that the alleged damage in this case is EUR 3 million. The searches were carried out by the Bucharest Police Department with support from the Romanian Intelligence Service, and were coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Bucharest Court of Law.
The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Bucharest Court of Law (PTB) subsequently issued a press release containing details of the case. Prosecutors mentioned that LPF incurred damages as a result of the sale of television broadcasting rights because the transaction was presumably “mediated” through various companies, and yet the transaction was in reality carried out without them. “Data and evidence collected in this case indicate there is reasonable suspicion that between 2011 and 2013 the Professional Football League’s patrimony incurred damages of EUR 3,000,000, after a fictitious mediation circuit was created to carry out the sale of packages of television broadcasting rights for football matches, although the real sale was carried out by direct negotiations (without intermediaries) between Professional Football League representatives and the representatives of the winning company. In addition, there is reasonable suspicion that the amount of money was laundered through a fictitious circuit involving multiple companies,” the Prosecutor’s Office at the Bucharest Court of Law notes.
According to gsp.ro, Capital Properties is the company that presumably cashed in the EUR 2.25 million commissions derived from purchasing the First League’s last six packages. The company’s sole shareholder is Mihai Corbu, a close acquaintance of Adrian Tarau, Zoltan Teszari’s friend (editor’s note – owner of RCS & RDS). “The commission was approved in a General Shareholders Meeting. I did not take part in discussions or in signing the contract, so I do not have much to say. The contract was signed by Dragomir and probably Mr. Popescu, who was economic director back then. (…) Investigations into this matter have been conducted before and they were all concluded favorably for Mr. Dragomir. His paper trail is always covered,” Alexandru Boc, former LPF vice-president, stated for Dolcesport.
Initially, LPF had sold only three packages
In the first bid of 2011, the Professional Football League had sold only three packages, namely to Digisport (first package – EUR 13,200,000 plus VAT), Dolce Sport (second package – EUR 12,900,000 plus VAT), and Antena 1 (third package – EUR 10,500,000 plus VAT). RCS & RDS subsequently purchased the last six packages of broadcasting rights over First League football matches and paid EUR 55.8 million, VAT included. “Only dupes can believe I stole that money. This is all part of my recurring fight with television stations. Everybody talks, but there’s nothing I can do. I’d say I won’t be detained at the end of the day; and I am somewhat of an oracle. Abuses sometimes occur, but remember – I have documents. I’ll be covered in papers for as long as I live and in dirt after I die,” Dumitru Dragomir stated, as cited by hotnews.ro.