Dear Mr. David Marchant,
My name is Ms. Zoia Angelova, Bulgarian national, residing in Carlsbad, CA. I am a Representative and Mandator of the Association for Development of the Economy “ALIDA”, Bulgaria in USA.
Without any disregard to the website of Offshore Alert, I have to draw your attention to documents held in its database, available to subscribers on request, which are grossly misleading. They relate to the founding members of Association “ALIDA”, Mr. Yanko Haralambev Haralambev and Mrs. Dimitrichka Nikolova Yordanova.
Unlike many young and ambitious Bulgarians who have seen the transitional period from a former state-controlled economy to a market economy as period in which “everything goes, whatever the cost”, Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova saw it as painful period for the Bulgarian people. They had the wisdom to predict that the economy will go into a period of decline, to a standstill at best, and those who will suffer the most will be the ordinary Bulgarians, many of whom will become jobless, loose their livelihood and perspectives for a better future. Unlike many unscrupulous new breed of politicians, who saw their purpose in life to gain access to political power and wealth for themselves and for their relatives, Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova saw their purpose in life in setting up an organisation which will become a vehicle for small companies and sole traders in overcoming the birth defects of the adopted market economy, inequality and poverty. Unfortunately for them personally, they became targets of those same unscrupulous politicians and their cronies.
By using observing members of Association “ALIDA” as helping hands, whom they had promised the “World”, they have instigated legal proceedings against them with the only purpose of discrediting them before the members and observing members of the Association. The best way of doing it was by using the loop holes which existed at the time of transition in both the legal system and in the way the media worked. It is a fact that Mr. Haralambev, who had been trusted by institutions of the former socialist state, has been under custody in Bulgarian jails twice. It is also a fact, that he has never been convicted, neither in Bulgaria nor elsewhere. In trusting the materials stored on Offshore Alert database, related to Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova, though, users of the website remain under one impression only, that they are proven criminals and that Mr. Haralambev has served two jail sentences.
The documents made available to those who subscribe for information from Offshore Alert’s web-site about these two individuals are those related to an application by a Bulgarian judicial institution to the Judicial Authorities in the State of Delaware, and comprise the application letter and documents proving that a request for authorising an enquiry has been made and a permission for an enquiry has been granted.
I have a personal question to Offshore Alert: Has a follow up been made on these? Is Offshore Alert aware, that by a Decree of Ms. V.Ilieva, a Prosecutor from the Sofia City Prosecutors Office, dated on 16th of October 2012, all proceedings against Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova, which are in the Decree called an “inquest”, have been irrevocably terminated, due to a lack of proofs of any wrong doing. I have no way of knowing what the outcome of the enquiries made in the State of Delaware are, but the said Decree, issued 23 months upon the application has been sent, speaks for itself.
Also for themselves speak the Non-conviction Certificates which Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova have obtained for business purposes of theirs from the competent authorities in Bulgaria for three consecutive years running. They have never, not during the last three years, but NEVER, been convicted, neither there are any ongoing inquests or legal proceedings against them.
The fact of the matter is that 5 years since the application of the Bulgarian legal institution to the Authorities in the State of Delaware and 3 years since the publication of the said Decree, the materials about Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova are still in Offshore Alert’s database and are still available for reading and downloading by paying subscribers. To me, who has never in my life browsed through sites such as OFFSHOREALERT, that speaks volumes:
1. Whilst enjoying obtaining fees for access to its files, Offshore Alert has no follow-up procedure whatsoever. If such was in existence, those responsible for maintaining the database should have, on the occasion with Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova, made checks about the outcome of the enquiries in the State of Delaware and about the way it has affected the inquest towards the practices of these individuals. Surely, if an access to a file generates 60 $ or more for Offshore Alert, the time and cost of addressing an enquiry message or two should be justified, especially when the integrity of the site may be at stake.
2. Offshore Alert does not seem to have a practice of approaching individuals in the position of Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova for an input, prior to publishing resumes on its web site.
If the site is to be trusted, the files should contain information on whose initiative and on whose reporting the files are made public. If those, who make incriminating materials available to Offshore Alert, are certain in the accuracy of their assertions, they should not hide in the bushes. At least, Offshore Alert should not allow them to.
I would like to know who these people are and whose purpose they serve. There are over 240 members and observing members of Association “ALIDA”, the vast majority of whom have greatly admired the work done by the founding members.
3. Whilst the very concept behind the inception of Offshore Alert is probably to be admired, the fact is that it treats the offshore companies in one and a same way, tax avoidance and hiding criminal activities. Does it ever come to the mind of its owners and officers that:
a) known jurisdiction, even an offshore one, is better that the unknown one and the one under revision, like the Bulgarian one was in the transitional period?
Who, in his right frame of mind, would have trusted during the transitional period a jurisdiction in Bulgaria and would have been willing to deal directly, under Bulgarian Law, with a complex entity, such as Association “ALIDA”? Setting up offshore entities as vehicles has been and still is a necessity.
b) for entities and individuals in Bulgaria, where corporation tax and income tax are as low as 10%, setting offshore legal entities could not be for a purpose of avoiding tax, but for something very different? Other than for the reason above mentioned, people do not wish to see their “kitchen” in the public domain, with the kind of media we have and with the kind of practices we have. Thousands of distinguished businessmen have been subjected to racketeering and abduction and hundreds lost their lives as a result of contract killings only because they were doing better than others.
c) it were the offshore financial institutions and banks, created primarily to keep personal wealth away from the public eye, who have financed the economies of many developing countries and were probably, until the current American Administration declared war on anything offshore, amongst the biggest donors of America?
I am quite sure that the Owners and the Officers of Offshore Alert know all that and more. It is therefore a necessity that Offshore Alert changes its practices, moving away from information which is put forward by unscrupulous individuals and entities with the only aim of harming potential opponents and competitors, towards objectiveness, aimed at providing a service to the business community.
The least I and Association “ALIDA”, as an entity, will expect from Offshore Alert is to take off its database without any delay the files incriminating Mr. Haralambev and Mrs. Yordanova and publish an appropriate resume on its web site based on the said Decree of the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office, a free translation into English of the last page of which, containing the wording of the very decree, is made for your easy reference and based on the Non-conviction Certificates, all attached to this letter.
As to the damages to their names and reputation, with a negative effect on their business endeavours over the last three years, with a parallel negative effect on the activity of Association “ALIDA” during that time, which Offshore Alert has caused, it is up to Mr. Haralambev, Mrs. Yordanova and the Management of Association “ALIDA” to decide what the appropriate course of action, if any, should be. Mr. Haralambev in particular has suffered a great deal in the hands of corrupt politicians and tolerated businessmen with criminal minds and lost a considerable personal property whilst he had been unlawfully kept in custody, that ignoring the latest role of Offshore Alert entirely is highly unlikely.
Kindly acknowledge receipt of this letter and inform me about the action Offshore Alert will take.
Ms Zoia Angelova