The general director of Romanian IT company Teamnet, Bogdan Padiu, was detained by anti-graft prosecutors as part of an investigation into public sector contracts for IT services that were allegedly secured through the intervention of controversial businessman Sebastian Ghita, who is currently missing.
According to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Ghita got between EUR 3 million to EUR 10 million from companies in the Asesoft/Teamnet group in the 2007-2014 period. Prosecutors claim that Ghita, who was the legal representative of these companies up to 2012, got this money because he secured lucrative IT contracts with the state.
In 2007-2008, Ghita was paid RON 4.1 million through a fake IT acquisitions services contract to exert his influence on public officials in the Ministry of Economy and Transelectrica, the grid operator, to approve several contracts to a group of companies, including Teamnet.
Between 2013-2014, the businessman got in the same way RON 5.9 million to convince officials in the National Healthcare Insurance House (CNAS) to grant the contract for the development of the electronic health file system to certain IT companies, including Asesoft.
The DNA added that between 2007 and 2014, Ghita was paid RON 22.8 million to get public sector contracts for Asesoft/Teamnet group. The businessman had promised he would exert his influence on state officials working in local counties, public hospitals and the government.
In a separate transaction, Ghita was paid RON 22.5 million after he promised he would get a contract with the Ministry of Environment. According to the DNA, the Ministry of Environment signed in 2014 a RON 166.7 million contract with a group of five companies that was financed with EU funds.
Ghita is accused on influence peddling, money laundering and setting up a criminal group.
Charges against Teamnet head
In the same case, Bogdan Padiu is accused of complicity to influence peddling, money laundering and the setting up of a criminal group.
The DNA claimed that Padiu and the administrator of Asesoft, Cristian Anastasescu – Ghita’s brother-in-law, worked to make sure that the fake transactions through which Ghita got paid would look real.
Teamnet “artificially” increased its turnover to get EUR 10 million World Bank loan, says the DNA
The anti-graft prosecutors have also looked into the shareholding structure of Teamnet, in which the World Bank and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) hold minority stakes.
According to the DNA, Teamnet used RON 24.2 million worth of funding that it got from fake transactions with other IT firms to “artificially increase its turnover so as to convince representatives of the World Bank to acquire shares in this company and the grant it a loan of EUR 10 million.”
The head of Teament told Business Review in an interview last year that the company EUR 5 million in 2014, EUR 1.36 million in 2015 and EUR 4.5 million in 2016 from the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank. The IT company got around EUR 13 million in funding from the BSTDB between 2014 and 2016.
Teamnet has worked on a series of large state projects in Romania, including the development of the 112 Emergency Calls Center. The company is also working on projects in the defense and intelligence fields. Based on the internatonal funding, Teamnet secured contracts abroad, reaching the Middle East last year.
The DNA will request for a preventive arrest mandate in the case of Padiu and Ghita’s brother-in-law.