Author: Georgi Toshev
The swindlers, who swindled pensioners with huge sums of money, had to appear today before the Plovdiv District Court in a dispositional hearing on the case. 45-year-old Vida Koleva and 25-year-old Atanaska Georgieva have been charged with several fraud and extortion charges.
According to the indictment, Atanaska caused property damage to her “victims” in the amount of over 130,000 leva, and Vida for about 120,000 leva. A third accused is also involved in the scheme – a man who is currently serving a sentence in prison for a previous conviction, reports trafficnews.bg.
The two women were detained in February of this year, and they were initially charged by the District Prosecutor’s Office – Plovdiv, but later, after collecting data on more crimes, the case was transferred to the District Prosecutor’s Office, where more charges were brought against the fraudsters.
The dispositional meeting today failed to start due to the absence of Vida, who had to appear for examinations for the preparation of a forensic medical examination. Nevertheless, judge Veselina Semkova allowed a request from Atanaska’s defense attorney to review her remand order to be considered. Lawyer Zhivko Chepishev asked the court to release her under house arrest or on bail, because the legal term of 8 months in which she can be held in custody has passed.
However, the magistrates did not grant the request because it is a matter of different proceedings, the last of which started in September this year.
In the courtroom, Atanaska broke down in tears saying, “I can’t stand this, I want to go home to my family”, and subsequently in the corridors of the courthouse, she screamed and tried to break away from the court guards so as not to be photographed by the journalists.
We remind you that the target group of fraudsters were elderly people living alone. One of their victims was a 66-year-old man from the village of Belozem. He lived alone in his house, and months ago he was visited by the two women. Subsequently, the pensioner entered into a closer relationship with one of the women. She began to complain to him that she was living extremely poorly, that her husband had left her, and that she had to take care of her children. The naïve man lent her 3,000 BGN, setting a deadline for the money to be returned to him. However, this did not happen and then the woman promised him that instead of returning the money, her relatives would repair the roof and gutters of his country house. A few days later, a carload of gypsies poured into his house, and they started scratching something on the roof.
Then they said that the repairs were ready and asked him for a large amount of money. They started to threaten and blackmail him. The man gave all his savings, but they turned out to be insufficient to cover his “obligations”. They started taking him to banks and companies for quick loans, where they made him take out dozens of loans. After that, they threatened him with an IRS and forced him in front of a notary to transfer part of his ownership of several agricultural plots to the women.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 15. At it, Vida’s remand order will be reviewed and it will become clear how the case will proceed.