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Direcția Națională Anticorupție

MINISTERUL PUBLIC

PARCHETUL

DE PE LÂNGĂ

ÎNALTA CURTE DE CASAȚIE ȘI JUSTIȚIE

 
IMPARȚIALITATE·INTEGRITATE·EFICIENȚĂ

November, 13th, 2017
No. 1056/VIII/3

Press Release


The prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate – the Section for combating offences assimilated to corruption offences ordered the carrying out of the criminal investigations against the suspects:

DRAGNEA NICOLAE-LIVIU, the president of Teleorman County Council when the deeds were committed, for the offences of:
- setting up an organised crime group,
- two offences of the use or presentation in bad faith of false, inaccurate or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect the unlawful obtaining of European funds,
- two offences of abuse of office in order to obtain benefits for himself/herself or for another person

FIȘCUCI MARIAN, a person close to the above mentioned individual, the majority shareholder (in the official documents) of Tel Drum SA, for the offence of setting up an organised crime group

PITIȘ PETRE, former councillor within the County Council of Teleorman, representative of Tel Drum SA, for the offences of:
- setting up an organised crime group,
- tax evasion, through repeated acts and activities
- complicity to two offences of abuse of office, in order to obtain benefits for himself/herself or for another person

NEDA FLOREA, representative of SC Tel Drum SA, for the offences of:
- setting up an organised crime group,
- complicity to two offences of abuse of office, in order to obtain benefits for himself/herself or for another person

ION FLORIAN, representative of a commercial company, for the offence of setting up an organised crime group,

BĂȚĂUȘ MUGUR, public official within the Teleorman County Council, when the deeds were committed, for the offences of:
- setting up an organised crime group,
- complicity to two offences of the use or presentation in bad faith of false, inaccurate or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect the unlawful obtaining of European funds,
- two offences of abuse of office in order to obtain benefits for himself/herself or for another person

PIPEREA VICTOR, public official within the Teleorman County Council, when the deeds were committed, for the offences of:
- setting up an organised crime group,
- complicity to the use or presentation in bad faith of false, inaccurate or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect the unlawful obtaining of European funds

NEAGOE DANIEL, associate and administrator of certain commercial companies, for the offence of setting up an organised crime group,

PREDESCU MARIN, public official within the Teleorman County Council, when the deeds were committed, for the offences of complicity to the use or presentation in bad faith of false, inaccurate or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect the unlawful obtaining of European funds
The current case file was created following a notification from OLAF (the European Antifraud Office) sent on September 30th, 2016, on the suspicion of multiple offences having been committed, among which the illegal obtaining, based on false documents, of funding form the European funds, for rehabilitation works of county roads.

The ordinance drafted by the prosecutors included certain aspects creating the reasonable suspicion according to which:
The suspect Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, the president of Teleorman County Council, set up an organised crime group, acting also in the present, and in which public officers from the public administration and people from the business environment took part and take part. The group set up in 2001 has as its main purpose the obtaining, in a fraudulent manner, of important sums of money from the contracts with public financing (national and European), by committing offences of abuse of office, defrauding of the European funds, tax evasion, money laundering and the use of information that is not intended for publicity or allowing the access of unauthorised people to this information

The organised crime group was initially created by:
- Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, the president of Teleorman County Council,
- Fișcuci Marian, a close person to Liviu Nicolae Dragnea and the one who became in the official documents the majority shareholder of Tel Drum SA and who acted as an middleman of Liviu Nicolae Dragnea by administering the commercial company,
- Mugur Bățăuș and Victor Piperea, public officials within the County Council Teleorman who initially participated in the privatisation of Tel Drum SA and afterwards dealt with the projects financed from the public funds, ensuring the framework needed in order for Tel Drum SA to be awarded these projects and
- Neda Florea, initially a person with a leading position within Tel Drum SA who facilitated the privatisation of the company, and afterwards shareholder of Tel Drum SA company, a legal person with private capital, director of this company and currently deputy director of Tel Drum SA; dealt with the management of the company, ensuring the participation of the company in the perpetration of the offences for which the group was set up.
In order to ensure the long-term benefits for the members of the organised crime group, the criminal activity was designed to be carried out in stages, depending on the structure of territorial administrative unit, of the companies controlled by the members of the organised crime group and on the positions and influence earned by these members.
The preparatory work and the manner of acting of the group required, mainly, the following stages:
- The privatisation of Tel Drum SA and the transfer of this legal person from the ownership of Teleorman County Council in the area of influence and control of the suspect Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, through middlemen
- The acquiring, in the property of Teleorman County Council, both from the funds of this territorial administrative unit and by obtaining a bank loan, of an equipment (asphalt cold recycling stabilising equipment in situ) of a very large amount (30 billion ROL) which afterwards was lent and then sold to Tel Drum SA, subsequent to the privatisation of this commercial company
- The awarding during 2002-2005, of the rehabilitation and maintenance works of the road structure which was administered by Teleorman County Council, to Tel Drum SA, without a competitive awarding procedure, although the commercial company became a legal person with private capital
- The setting up and the involvement in the criminal activity of a large number of commercial companies controlled by the members of the criminal organised group, in order for these companies to be interposed in the awarding procedures of the public contracts, to be used for the creation of financial and commercial schemes and in order to ensure the transfer of the material benefits to the members of the organised crime group
- Ensuring the award of the work contracts with public financing to Tel Drum SA company, especially in the case of Teleorman County Council, by using the influence of the members of the organised crime group and the positions of some of the members, by providing confidential information related to the public tenders prior to the publication of notices and by inserting restrictive conditions in the specifications (the equipment given by Teleorman County Council to Tel Drum SA represented one of the qualification criteria in the case of the rehabilitation works of the county roads)
- The obtaining in a preferential and fraudulent manner of funds from the national budget, through the suspect Liviu Dragnea Nicolae and illegal obtaining of funds from the budget of the European Union by providing false and inexact documents, both when the beneficiary of the funds was in a first stage the territorial administrative unit (which subsequently channelled the funds to Tel Drum SA) and when the beneficiary of the funds was directly one of the commercial companies controlled by the members of the organised crime group
- Facilitating and interceding in the appointment of individuals in certain positions within the central administration, through the members of the organised crime group which administered Tel Drum SA,
- Provision of funding for the political party to which Liviu Nicolae Dragnea belongs, bu donations by the members of the organised crime group and of the companies controlled by these people
- Considering the influence exerted by Liviu Nicolae Dragnea at the level of central administration and in the political arena, the ensuring of the access to confidential information from the central government institutions and the provision of confidential documents by the members of the organised crime group from the private environment
- The obtaining of material benefits by the members of the organised crime group, originated in the criminal activity and in the fraudulent use of the public funds (benefits for which the members of the organised crime group created the appearance of legality by extracting them form the property of the company as shares, by payment of fees as salary, by simulating civil or commercial operations of transferring property rights or right to use, by signing service contracts or supply contracts among the commercial companies controlled by them)
The structure of the group allowed for an easy interaction among the members of the group, which was often dissimulated by the activities carried out in the light of the office duties by the members of the group, the suspects Mugur Bățăuș and Victor Piperea managing directions within Teleorman County Council and being under the subordination of the suspect Liviu Dragnea, making easy for the representatives of the private environment to interact within the framework of contracts in course of performance.
During the carrying out of the criminal activity, depending on the modifications in the structure of the organised crime group, new members joined in as it follows:
The suspect Pitiș Petre, former councillor within Teleorman County Council, who took over the management activity of Tel Drum SA, carrying out the same activities within the group as Marian Fișcuci
The suspect Neagoe Daniel who facilitated the use of the company in the illegal activity of obtaining public funds and who administered this company, his activity consisting also in facilitating the transfer of the material benefits to the members of the group
The suspect Ion Florian who facilitated the use of another company in the illegal activity of obtaining public funds and who administers this company.
For the purpose for which the organised criminal group was set up, during 2008, as the representative of Teleorman County Council, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, with the help of Mugur Bățăuș and Victor Piperea (who ensured the forgery and replacement of the documents), used at the intermediary body ADR Sud Muntenia false and inexact documents, in order for the company Tel Drum SA to be awarded a contract for the rehabilitation of 55 km county road DJ 701 (limit – Dâmbovița Gratia – Poeni – Siliștea – Scurtu Mare – Slăvești – Ciolănești – Zabreasca – Dobrotești), amounting to RON 114,263,011 lei, out of which the sum of EUR 13,772,603 came from European funds.
Data from the technical project were falsified and replaced (technical report, quantitative estimation, verifications related to the structure), the documents being tempered with by forging the signature of a designer on the quantitative estimations and by inserting in the project (after the delivery by the designer to the beneficiary Teleorman County Council) the condition according to which the method of a mandatory nature needed for stabilising the ballast is at the cold in situ, a key condition ensuring for Tel Drum the winning of the tender.
Prior to the publication of the notice on awarding the contract, Mugur Bățăus provided to the representatives of Tel Drum SA information not meant for publicity, respectively details on qualification criteria and about the tenderers.
Regarding the same project for the rehabilitation of the county road DJ 701, the suspect Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, by infringing the legal provisions on exercising the position, issued decisions to borrow money in the form of an internal loan and decisions on starting the procedures for public procurements and appointment of tender evaluation commissions. By providing confidential information and by tempering with the technical project which was submitted for approval with the view to obtaining the financing, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea and Mugur Bățăuș, intentionally, in order to obtain an undue benefit for Tel Drum SA and implicitly for the members of the organised crime group, infringe their legal office duties and made the members of the commission for drafting the documentation needed for the tender of the construction works and the members of the tender evaluation commission to violate, without culpability, the dispositions of the Government Emergency Ordinance 34/2006 by inserting restrictive conditions and by violating the principle of equal treatment, awarding the project to Tel Drum SA company.
The damage caused to the public budget is of LEI 25,600,927 (the difference between the price tendered by Tel Drum SA and the lowest price tendered), this amount being an undue benefit for the winning company. The suspects Neda Florea and Pitiș Petre, people who administered Tel Drum SA, participated in these activities, as accomplices.
During 2009, as the representative of Teleorman County Council, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, helped by Mugur Bățăuș and Marin Predescu (who ensured the forging and replacing of the documents), used at the intermediary body ADR Sud Muntenia false and inexact documents, in order for the company Tel Drum SA to be awarded a contract for the rehabilitation of over 50 km of county road DJ 506 Cervenia Vitănești Băbăița, amounting to LEI 62,482,442, out of which the sum of EUR 6,930,138 came from European funds.
Data from the technical project were falsified and replaced (the boards drawn up for transversal profile type I, memorial technic, design technical report, technical design and execution plan, specifications, estimates), the documents being tempered with by forging the signature of the project verifier, by modifying the quantitative elements and by inserting in the project (after the delivery by the designer to the beneficiary Teleorman County Council) the condition according to which the method of a mandatory nature needed for stabilising the ballast is at the cold in situ, a key condition ensuring for Tel Drum the winning of the tender.
Moreover, the estimation was artificially increased to the sum of EUR 14,132,923, having as consequence the increase in the amount of the contract obtained by Tel Drum SA which was financed from public funds.
Before submitting the technical project for approval by the Management Authority with the view of financing, the suspects Bățăuș Mugur, Marin Predescu and another official allowed the access of the suspect Neda Florea to information not meant for publicity, by participating of the latter in a presentation of the technical project within Teleorman County Council and subsequently, before the publication of the notice related to the awarding of the contract, Mugur Bățăus provided to the representatives of Tel Drum SA details related to the qualification requirements and tenderers expressing their interest to participate in the tender.
Regarding the same project for the rehabilitation of the county road DJ 506, the suspect Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, by infringing the legal dispositions on exercising the function, issued decisions to borrow money in the form of an internal loan and decisions on starting the procedures for public procurements and appointment of tender evaluation commissions. By providing confidential information and by tempering with the technical project which was submitted for approval with the view to obtaining the financing, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea and Mugur Bățăuș, intentionally, in order to obtain an undue benefit for Tel Drum SA and implicitly for the members of the organised crime group, infringe their legal office duties and made the members of the commission for drafting the documentation needed for the tender of the construction works and the members of the tender evaluation commission to violate, without culpability, the dispositions of the Government Emergency Ordinance 34/2006 by inserting restrictive conditions and by violating the principle of equal treatment, awarding the project to Tel Drum SA company.
The damage caused to the public budget is of 5.742.872 (the difference between the real estimation provided in the project and the estimation that was modified), this amount being an undue benefit for the winning company. The suspects Neda Florea and Pitiș Petre, people who administered Tel Drum SA, participated in these activities, as accomplices.
In order to evade from the fiscal payment obligation, the suspect Petre Pitiș, as the representative of Tel Drum SA, simulated procurement transactions on the national territory (VAT-bearing) registering them into the accountancy, and using dummy commercial companies. Thus, during 2010 -2012, the suspect evaded the payment to the state budget of the sum of LEI 774,790.32 represented value added tax related to the commercial transactions. During the same period, the sums related to the transactions made with the dummy companies and entered into the accountancy were transferred from the bank accounts of Tel Drum SA into the bank accounts of the dummy companies, being withdrawn in cash shortly after the transfer and given (without the fee for the brokering) to the people who initially paid these sums.
Moreover, during the activity carried out by the organised crime group, its members benefited from confidential information from the local and central government institutions such as: background information and specifications for future tenders for which an internal approval procedure was on progress (in the case of National Administration of State Reserves and Special Problems), correspondence between territorial administrative units and the Minister of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds (within the objectives which were expected to be funded by PNDL), lists on projects submitted for financing, documents requested by judicial authorities from public institutions during the criminal investigations (as it is the case of the National Agency for Cadastre and Land Registration ANCPI). Such documents were identified on the occasion of the home searches performed at the headquarters of legal person governed by private law. In addition, according to the documents seized on the occasion of the home searches, the members of the organised crime group, proposed and facilitated the appointment in public positions of the people with whom they were in close relations (handwritten documents were seized, documents indicating people who would have been suited for a management position within the central administration and who were subsequently appointed in the respective positions, or documents containing details showing the wish of certain public people to appoint a close person).
As a result of the performed criminal activity, the members of the organized crime group obtained different personal benefits, depending on the tasks and roles they played within the group:
- The involved civil servants ensured their management positions within the County Council Teleorman, both Mugur Bățăuș and Victor Piperea being the directors of some structures within the public authority and having material benefits in the private sector. For instance, Mugur Bățăuș was employed as an expert by one of the group’s companies
- Fișcuci Marian, Petre Pitiș, Neda Florea, Ion Florian and Neagoe Daniel obtained preferential agreements by using the commercial companies and material benefits which were directly transferred either as dividends or salaries or as movable and immovable assets used by them, but presented under the property of the commercial companies.
- Liviu Nicolae Dragnea obtained sums of money or movable and immovable assets directly or by using people close to him (his son, his former wife). He uses these benefits as well as different services for his own interest, his family’s or for the interest of his political party, i.e. donations from the members of the organized crime group and from the companies controlled by them (approximately 2.5 million lei in 2009), transfer of shares to his son from several companies controlled by the members of the organized crime group, dividends and periodic payments to his son as salaries from the companies of the group, periodic sums of money received with the title of rent payments cashed in personally by Liviu Nicolae Dragnea and by his former wife from another company of the group, money obtained by Liviu Nicolae Dragnea as a result of selling some immovable assets for over evaluated prices to the companies controlled by the members of the organized crime group, the use of movable assets by his son (the car owned by a company from the group whose technical improvements were paid by Tel Drum SA) or the use of immovable assets by the latter (the building from Turnu Măgurele under the property of Tel Drum SA).

The suspects were informed about their criminal status and charges, in accordance to the provisions of art. 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The anticorruption prosecutors collaborated in this case with the representatives of the European Antifraud Office (OLAF).

It should be mentioned that the carrying out of the criminal investigation represents a stage of the criminal proceedings regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code, aiming at creating the procedural framework for collecting evidence, an activity which cannot, under any circumstances violate the principle of presumption of innocence.



THE INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE