JUSTICE

Sorin Dimitriu, president of the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce sentenced to 4-year detention

Sorin-Petre Dimitriu, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality (CCIB), was sentenced by the Bucharest Court to 4 years and 1 month detention, in a case involving a fraud with European funds.

Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality gets to pay 70,000 lei penalty for committing a crime against the financial interests of the European Union.

The decision is not final and can be attacked by appeal.

The judges also ordered the seizure of 2,470,000 lei from the Chamber of Commerce, in relation to two POSDRU projects, in the case of which were being used forged documents.

According to this decision of the court, Sorin-Petre Dimitriu got 2 years for influence peddling or abuse of office to obtain for himself or another money, goods or other undue benefits; he also received 2 years and 3 months for abuse of office on an ongoing basis; 2 years and 8 months for committing a crime against the financial interests of the European Union.

The three sentences were aggregated and the heaviest one, of 2 years and 8 months detention, was added another 1 year and 5 months, so that Sorin Dimitriu will have to serve in the end 4 years and 1 month in prison.

The court also ruled a complementary punishment in this case and forbade Dimitriu to be president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Bucharest Municipality or be part of the management board of this institution on a five-year period.

In the same file, there were also convicted Gabriel-Dan Mihut (general manager with the CCIB) – 3-years suspended sentence, Gabriela Dumitriu (adviser to Sorin Dimitriu) – 2-year suspended sentence, Laurentia Vasilescu (economic manager at the CCIB) – 3-year suspended sentence and 120 days of community service.

In the civil action, the Court admitted the civil complaints of the former employees of the CCIB, who claimed that they had their salaries cut down and they were fired of a discretionary manner. Sorin Dimitriu, Gabriela-Dan Mihut and Gabriela Dumitriu must pay moral and material damages to these employees worth 456,261 lei and 8,000 euros.

On October 1, 2014, Sorin-Petre Dimitriu was sent to court by the DNA (National Anti-corruption Directorate), alongside other members of the CCIB leadership.

According to the DNA, the CCIB leadership conceived, organised and set in motion a mechanism that, on the one hand, meant the fraudulent access to European funds for various projects and, on the other hand, they deprived the CCIB employees of a large part of their earned income, obtained from their work in various projects, by simulating a so-called “sponsorship” to the employer institution, such amounts being then spent by the CCIB managers “according to their wishes.” In the end, the money obtained like this went to the president of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mihail Vlasov.

DNA specifies that the investigation in this case lasted from 2010 until 2012, in the context in which CCIB was carrying out such projects financed from the budget of the European Social Fund within the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development.

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