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Daily Archives: July 5th, 2011

 Dimitar Dimitrov, the reputed Mafia leader of a Bulgarian organized crime ring in Las Vegas has pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank ATMs around the valley.  

To read  Click here: Bulgaria: Notorious Bulgarian Crime Boss Sentenced in Las Vegas – Novinite.com – Sofia News Agency

Dimitrov has confessed to one count of conspiracy to traffic in and produce counterfeit access devices, which draws a maximum five-year prison term and a USD 250,000 fine, the Las Vegas Review – Journal informs.

In exchange for Dimitrov’s plea, federal prosecutors will dismiss a felony gun possession case against him, along with a third case involving the theft USD 1.6 million in luxury cars and boats through an elaborate credit scheme.

However, prosecutors retain the right to prosecute the 59-year-old for any acts of violence they uncover. His sentencing was set for October 27.

According to Las Vegas Review – Journal, FBI wiretaps revealed Dimitrov had a penchant for threatening violence during his international criminal dealings.

“He vowed to get crime figures in Bulgaria to “cut off the ears” of a former associate and “use them as cigarette holders,” according to the wiretaps. FBI agents also overheard Dimitrov bragging that he knew how to keep a witness in line by tying him to a tree with wire, pouring gasoline over him and standing next to him with cigarettes and a lighter,” the US paper elaborates on the terrifying details from the investigation.

Dimitrov has been described by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson as a “lifelong criminal who has little regard for others.”

To law enforcement authorities, Dimitrov represents the new kind of organized crime boss in Las Vegas: someone who is capable of violence but also adept at pulling off high-tech, sophisticated scams.

Dimitrov and 10 others were indicted in May 2010 on a variety of federal charges related to the theft of cars from auto dealers and cash from bank ATMs.

Dimitrov had one crew stealing the cash from the ATMs and another buying cars and boats in the credit scam.

The Bulgarian’s crew was stealing bank account and personal identification numbers when customers did business at ATMs in the spring of 2009. They crew used that information to make counterfeit debit cards and withdraw money from ATMs, according to the plea agreement.

Often the numbers were stolen by installing a small hidden camera above the keypad of an ATM.

Dimitrov’s crew acquired the cars and boats from dealerships by fraudulently obtaining loans they never intended to pay. They either sold or rented the cars to other people and smuggled some vehicles to Eastern Europe, court records show, as cited by Las Vegas Review – Journal.

In many cases, straw buyers claiming to be employed by fictitious companies approached the dealerships on behalf of the defendants.

Nine of Dimitrov’s crew members were charged with him last year. Four remain at large in Bulgaria, but four of the five arrested here have pleaded guilty in both theft cases, federal court records show. His wife, Viarka Dimitrova, who was charged with helping him unlawfully obtain a 9 mm pistol, will have a chance to enter into a federal diversion agreement that could result in her charges being dismissed.

Because most of Dimitrov’s arrested co-defendants have pleaded guilty with him, prosecutors will recommend some prison time be cut from their sentences.

Dimitrov agreed to make full restitution in the ATM thefts and, with some of his co-defendants, forfeit USD 1 million worth of cars and boats authorities seized in the credit scheme, the plea agreement said.