The “Unfinished” and Undeclared Three-Level House of the Leader of the Socialist Parliamentary Faction
Corneliu Furculiță is the head of the Socialist Party parliamentary faction and a close person to the presidential family. ZdG analyzed his declaration of assets and found some inaccuracies. Firstly, the deputy and his family do not live in a 67 square meters apartment in Chișinău, as he claims, but in a three-level house in a Chișinău suburb. The house is built on the land registered on the name of the deputy’s 26-year-old daughter.
ZdG journalist scrutinized the deputy’s recent declarations of assets but the house wasn’t mentioned past 2017 when it was included as an “unfinished construction”. According to the neighbors, Furculiță and his family have been living there for more than a year. When Furculiță’s wife saw ZdG reporters she avoided entering the house and made several circles around the area.
Asked by ZdG, Furculiță claims that he doesn’t live there permanently. Asked from what financial sources they built the house, the deputy told us that this is a “family investment” and that “more persons” contributed to the construction. Furculiță is originally from Sadova, the same village as President Igor Dodon. The deputy has a long-standing relationship with Dodon.
Furculiță is the founder of Exclusiv Media, the media holding affiliated to the Socialist Party. Previously, Rise Moldova wrote that Exclusive Media received over €1 million from an offshore company registered in the Bahamas before the presidential. Subsequently, in March-April 2016, Petru Burduja, deputy of the Socialist Party and Corneliu Furculiță’s wife withdrew from the company’s accounts over €1.02 million (20 million lei), invoking this as restitution of financial aid obtained from individuals.
Furculiță, who heads the faction of the Socialist Party in the Parliament, was first elected deputy in 2014. Since he became deputy, the family’s official income is consists of the salaries of the deputy and his wife.
Furculiță’s Undeclared House
Furculiță filed his last declaration of assets in March 2020. The deputy indicated that he owns only a 67.3 square-meter apartment, located on Gheorghe Asachi Street, in the center of Chișinău. In his declaration of assets, Furculiță also included two cars, a Skoda Kodiaq and a Toyota LC150.
ZdG found that the Furculiță family also owns an impressive house, in addition to the goods declared. The house is located in Durlești, a suburb of Chișinău. The deputy didn’t declare the house in his declaration of assets.
The house is built on two land plots. The deputy declared the land-plots until he decided to donate them in 2018. The deputy’s family owns one land plot since 2010. The land plot has an area of 0.0538 hectares. In 2017, the deputy’s family bought the second land plot, next to the first construction plot.
According to the extracts from the Property Records of the Territorial Cadastral Service, the deputy’s eldest daughter, Cornelia Furculiță, aged 26, entered into possession of the two land plots in 2018. She is currently abroad.
ZdG went on the spot and found a house, apparently finished. The house was erected on the plots owned by the Furculiță family. According to the Property Records of the Territorial Cadastral Service, no real estate was registered on the two land-plots.
On the evening of July 13, ZdG tried to talk to Furculiță. We noticed one of the cars, declared by the deputy, approaching the gates of the house in Durlești. Ludmila Furculiță, the deputy’s wife, was behind the wheel. However, when she saw us, she changed her mind and did not enter the gate of the household, making several circles around the area.
The next morning, we went to Durlești again. After waiting for a while, we saw the deputy coming out of the gate. Asked to specify why he did not declare the house in his declaration of assets, Furculiță said that he donated the plots to the children, and the house is still under construction.
“There is an authorization. The house is not yet put into operation. The children are still working. The owner of the house will take care to put it into operation, legally. We will decide who will be the owner,” Furculiță explained.
While one of the neighbors greeted the deputy, and another told us that the Furculiță family has lived in the house in Durlești for more than a year, the socialist claims that it is not their permanent dwelling place.
“I came to check if everything is fine,” he said.
ZdG asked the deputy about the neighbors’ statements. The deputy said that he only comes to Durlești from time to time and that he actually lives in his apartment in Gheorghe Asachi Street.
“Well, the neighbors cannot know everything. I do not live here,” the leader of the Socialist Party parliamentary faction insisted.
After this statement, we also contacted one of Furculiță’s neighbors from the apartment on Gheorghe Asachi Street. Furculiță’s neighbor told us that his apartment is under surveillance, but the deputy has not lived there for a long time. The neighbor also mentioned that the deputy comes to the apartment occasionally.
A Family Investment
Asked from what financial sources they built the house, the deputy told us that it is a family investment and that more persons participated in the construction.
“My declaration of assets and personal interests includes my wife’s and my salaries and they are quite good. If you compare incomes and expenses, you will see that we still have money left. Apart from that, I am the founder of several companies. I can afford it,” Furculiță pointed.
ZdG asked Furculiță about the two cars, he declared and which his family owns and uses. The deputy told us that the two cars are the property of the company Exclusiv Media, of which he is the founder.
“I assure you that in terms of declarations of assets and personal interests, everything is perfect,” concluded the leader of the Socialist Party parliamentary faction.
Jumping from Private Field into Politics
Furculiță is originally from Sadova village, Călărași district, the center of Moldova, the same village as President Igor Dodon. The residents from Sadova told us that Furculiță comes from a modest family; his father was a teacher, as well as his mother.
According to the deputy’s CV, Furculiță worked in the private sector before becoming a deputy in the Socialist Party parliamentary faction. For 12 years, he held several positions. He was a lawyer, a financial director, a commercial director, and an administrator. He did not indicate the companies he worked for.
Furculiță and Dodon know each other for a long time. The deputy was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Călărași Cannery factory, managed by relatives of the presidential family.
Indirectly, the deputy is also linked to the Hunter Elit Club company. Until 2017, the company had its legal headquarters in Furculiță’s apartment on Gheorghe Asachi Street, where the company Exclusiv Media is actually registered.
Hunter Elit Club was founded by Oleg Teterea, former socialist deputy and one of Dodon’s oldest friends, and by Ghenadie Merineanu, the Dodon’s brother-in-law. In 2013, Veaceslav Anghel, who was also an associate of Exclusiv Media, became the owner and administrator of the company. Previously, the company concluded with Moldsilva leases of several hectares of forest. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the termination of these leases.
ZdG asked Furculiță about his previous jobs and the companies he worked for, but the deputy told us that it was the private filed.
“It is a private field and it targets not only my activity but also the activity of the companies where I worked. Therefore, those entrepreneurs, with whom I was a partner, do not want to be involved with politics, appear in newspapers, and so on. It is a private domain,” declared the Socialist Party deputy.
The Media Empire Managed by the Furculiță Family
Furculiță is the founder of Exclusiv Media, which holds the media empire affiliated to the Socialist Party. Furculiță’s wife, Ludmila Furculiță, manages the company. She is a colleague of Galina Dodon, the president’s wife, who is the financial director at Exclusiv Media. Recently, Tatiana Țaulean, the wife of the Socialist Party member Ion Ceban, mayor of Chișinau, was also employed at this company.
The company was registered in October 2011, one month before Dodon, Zinaida Greceanîi, the President of the Parliament and member of the Socialist Party, and Ceban left the Communist Party.
Initially, the company was managing the Russian-language newspaper Argumenty i Facty. Later, the company took over several media projects.
Exclusiv Media manages the NTV Moldova station, a television that actively promotes the interests of the Socialist Party. The company is also the owner of the Russian-language newspaper Argumenty i Facty. In 2017, the company launched the entertainment project ExclusivTV, which broadcasts entertainment shows of the Russian TV station THT-Comedy. Accent TV is one of the partners of Exclusiv Media.
Previously, Veaceslav Anghel, a fellow villager of Dodon was the founder and administrator of the company. Anghel ran for November 2014 parliamentary elections on the list of the Socialist Party. In the February 2019 parliamentary elections, Anghel was the candidate of the Socialist Party in Constituency no. 20, but failed to win the constituency.
His functions were later taken over by Corneliu Furculiță, as well as by the socialist Petru Burduja before Furculiță’s wife would take over the administration of the company.
Furculiță and Petru Burduja, a Socialist Party member, took over the management of the company from Anghel. And later on, the two Socialist Party members passed the management of the company to Furculiță’s wife.
Furculiță’s Wife, Dodon’s Wife, and the Mayor’s Wife are Colleagues
In 2019, Ludmila Furculiță received at Exclusiv Media a salary of over 11,000 euros (215,000 lei), which is almost 2,000 euros (40,000 lei) more than her husband received as deputy. In the previous years, when Ludmila Furculiță was employed at Exclusiv Media, her salary was higher than that of her husband, yet it was lower than that of Dodon’s wife, who reported an official income of about 20,000 euros (395,000 lei) in 2019.
In 2017, Exclusiv Media founded Exclusiv Sales House, a company that has the right to place advertising on TV stations, managed by Exclusiv Media.
In a short time, the advertising market controlled by Casa Media Corp, affiliated to Moldova’s oligarch, Vladimir Plahotniuc, ended up in the hands of Exclusiv Sales House, which in 2018 had a turnover of about €2.04 million (40 million lei) and over 51,000 euros (1 million lei) profit.
Exclusiv Media has its headquarters on Ion Neculce Street, downtown Chișinău. In 2015, the company purchased from the JLC company an area of about 370 square meters. Two years later, Exclusiv Media bought another area of 120 square meters at the same address.
The transaction had been concluded with Eurobloc company, the owner of the first area bought by Furculiță’s company. The studios of the NTV Moldova television station are also located on Ion Neculce Street, next to the Exclusiv Media headquarters.
In addition to Exclusiv Media, Furculiță is a sole shareholder at Poliactiv company, whose licensed activity is in construction. Ludmila Furculiță is the administrator of the company.
The Man With the Money
Furculiță is a key-person mentioned in the investigation of RISE Moldova, an investigative media outlet. RISE investigated a scheme through which the Socialist Party would have received sponsorships of millions from an offshore company a few months before the 2016 presidential elections. Later on, the money would have got to people close to the party through contract loans.
In 2016, prosecutors filed a lawsuit for alleged money laundering. The investigation revealed that in February 2016, Exclusiv Media received on its account over €1.49 million from Westerby, an offshore company registered in the Bahamas.
Subsequently, in March-April 2016, Burduja, deputy of the Socialist Party and Furculiță’s wife withdrew from the company’s accounts over €1.02 million (20 million lei). They claimed that they are returning to people the money received as financial assistance.
The Black Plastic Bag Case
Recently, Furculiță was in the public eye again due to the video images of the meeting between Dodon and Plahotniuc at which Plahotniuc handed Dodon a black plastic bag.
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It was rumored in the public space that Furculiță would be the “Cornel” to whom “Costea” had to pass the “black plastic bag” to pay the “salaries”. The deputy specified then that it is a fake.
“I am neither an accountant nor a cashier, to give salaries. Moreover, this is not the President’s manner of expression,” stated Furculiță during a show on NTV TV station, owned by his company.
Shortly after those videos, Furculiță became a topic of discussion again. An anonymous message appeared in the public space, accompanied by images with several papers. The paper apparently featured some dated receipts, on which sums of money were indicated, accompanied by a signature similar to that of Furculiță. The rumor spread that these so-called bills would be proof of the money received by Dodon from Plahotniuc.
The deputy stated that the so-called invoices are a fake.
As I have already stated, the progress of the investigation into the billion theft case, aiming to bring to justice those responsible for the biggest theft in the country’s history, causes some to go into hysteria and launch more and more fakes to divert attention from the investigation. The misleading information should not influence the process of finding out the truth, the prosecution of those guilty in the “theft of the century”, and the confiscation of their property,” Furculiță stated.
Later, Furculiță asked the General Prosecutor’s Office to identify the author of the anonymous message and to establish the authenticity of the signatures.