From courtrooms to cash: The millionaires of Romania’s Justice System/ Last year’s…

sursa foto: Unsplash/ Stock Birken

From courtrooms to cash: The millionaires of Romania’s Justice System/ Last year’s salaries reported by the heads of the judiciary/ A deputy at the High Court owns boats and a house in Greece/ A state secretary from the Ministry of Justice has nearly 2 million euros/ Constitutional Court Judge Geani Stan Purchased an apartment in Marbella

Several leaders in the Justice sector declared earnings last year from salaries and back pay exceeding 1 million lei, translating to monthly incomes between 17,000 and 22,000 euros. By far, the wealthiest is a state secretary in the Ministry of Justice, George Cătălin Șerban (former president of the Călărași Tribunal and considered close to former PNL leader Iulian Dumitrescu, investigated by DNA for corruption). The former magistrate has nearly 10 million lei (almost 2 million euros) in accounts, pension funds and investments, government bonds, and securities. This is also considering that his wife, a notary, reported earnings from notary fees of over 1.6 million lei last year.

Note: The asset declaration portal, managed by the National Integrity Agency (ANI), was down for several weeks due to — the institution claims — the failure of the air conditioning system of the servers operating it. Even after it was unblocked, the site works very slowly and requires various verifications to ensure you are not a robot.

„The temporary non-functionality of the portal does not exclude the obligation to publish declarations on the website of the institution or public authority where the declarant carries out their activity,” ANI stated in a press release. Nevertheless, the 2024 asset declarations of several magistrates are not found on their institutions’ websites or the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) portal.

Examples of  incomes in the Judiciary according to the latest Asset Declarations:

Corina Corbu, President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ÎCCJ), reported earnings of over 1.1 million lei from salaries and salary arrears from the ÎCCJ (almost 800,000 lei), CSM (over 126,000 lei), and 200,000 lei in damages, according to her asset declaration published on the institution’s portal. This translates to an income of over 18,000 euros per month. Judge Corbu received damages of 200,000 lei after being sent to trial by DNA in 2014 for complicity in favoring an offender in a case involving a colleague, Judge Gabriela Bîrsan, wife of her doctoral advisor, Judge Corneliu Bîrsan. She was acquitted in 2018 after several pieces of evidence were excluded from the case. Judge Corbu also declared jewelry worth 40,000 euros, 5,000 euros more than the previous year.

Denișa Stănișor, head of CSM and High Court judge, declared earnings last year of over 1 million lei: over 555,000 lei from the ÎCCJ, almost 400,000 lei from salary arrears, 86,000 lei from CSM projects, and 8,597 lei in external travel allowance. This means an income of almost 17,000 euros per month. Judge Stănișor also declared rental income of over 300,000 lei, as she reported owning a commercial production space of nearly 400 m² in Bucharest.

Carmen Popoiag, an adjunct to the head of the ÎCCJ, declared earnings of almost 750,000 lei from salaries (over 12,500 euros per month), while her husband, a retired judge, reported over 470,000 lei combining his pension with his salary from CSM. The Popoiag couple, from Dâmbovița, declared seven plots of land in Dâmbovița and Greece, a residential house in Târgoviște, a vacation home in Iedera de Sus (Dâmbovița), and another residential house in Kamariotisa, Greece. They also declared five cars and other means of transport, including Agados, Suzuki, Timonera, and SpeedDream.

Marian Budă, another adjunct from the ÎCCJ and former CSM head, declared earnings from salaries and salary arrears of over 750,000 lei (over 12,500 euros per month) and another 24,000 from rents. His wife reported 60,000 lei in income from renting out 58 hectares of agricultural land in Leu commune, Dolj County. The Budă couple declared residential houses in Agigea, Cârcea (near Craiova, Dolj), and Bragadiru (near Bucharest).

Diana Mihaela Micu Cheptene, head of the Iași Court of Appeal, declared an income last year of over 375,000 lei from salaries, salary arrears, CSM projects, and teaching activities at the University of Iași. She also has almost 700,000 lei in bank loans. However, according to presshub.ro, in 2022, Judge Micu Cheptene earned over 1.2 million lei, more than the ÎCCJ head earned in 2023, from salaries (almost 300,000 lei), salary arrears (almost 900,000 lei), and the rest from CSM projects, scholarships, and teaching activities. That means over 20,000 euros per month.

Loredana Lenuța Albescu, head of the Bacău Court of Appeal, declared an income last year of over 700,000 lei from salaries (almost 12,000 euros per month). She also declared seven plots of land (agricultural, forest, intravilan), two apartments, and a house. She has over half a million lei, over 50,000 euros, and over 11,000 dollars in accounts and pension and investment funds.

Florica Roman, head of the Oradea Court of Appeal, declared for last year over half a million lei from salaries and salary arrears (over 8,000 euros per month). In 2022, Roman earned 375,000 lei from her salary, as noted in her 2023 asset declaration.

George Cătălin Șerban, a state secretary in the Ministry of Justice and former president of the Călărași Tribunal, declared earnings from salaries of only 193,000 lei and a pension of over 355,000 lei, totaling over half a million lei, or over 9,000 euros per month. Former judge Șerban declared two plots of land in Călărași, five apartments, and two houses in Călărași and Bucharest. He has three cars, an Audi and an Alfa Romeo, over 800,000 lei in accounts, over 3.7 million lei and nearly 130,000 euros in pension and investment funds, and over 2 million lei in bank deposits. He also holds government bonds and securities worth over 3 million lei and over 53,000 euros, totaling nearly 2 million euros. His wife, Angelica Șerban, declared earnings from notary fees of over 1.6 million lei.

Regarding prosecutors, Alex Florența, head of the Public Ministry, declared an income last year from salaries and salary arrears from DIICOT, PÎCCJ, and CSM of almost 480,000 lei, translating to over 8,000 euros per month. His wife, a judge at CSM, reported a similar income. They declared an apartment in Sibiu and a vacation house in Sasca Montană, Caraș-Severin County.

Marius Voineag, head of DNA, declared an annual income from salaries and salary arrears from the General Prosecutor’s Office and DNA of almost 400,000 lei, or over 6,500 euros per month. His wife, a judge, reported earnings from salaries of nearly 300,000 lei, or almost 5,000 euros per month. The Voineag couple declared a house and three apartments in Voluntari and Galați. They also declared loans of over 750,000 lei. The DNA head loaned 25,000 lei to Ionuț Ardeleanu, head of the Second Section of DNA.

Daniel Horodniceanu, former head of CSM, reported earnings from salaries and salary arrears of over 480,000 lei, or over 8,000 euros per month. He has 620,000 lei in accounts and nearly 250,000 lei in pension and investment funds. He also declared a residential house in Iași and a vacation house in Ceahlău. He owns three cars, two BMWs, and a Mercedes.

At the Constitutional Court (CCR), Bogdan Licu (former Deputy General Prosecutor of Romania) declared an annual income of over 830,000 lei, or nearly 14,000 euros per month, from a pension, salary arrears as a prosecutor, and his CCR salary. His wife (a former SRI officer) has an income of 180,000 lei, or over 3,000 euros per month, from a pension, teaching activities, and a psychological counseling office. They declared a house in Balotești and three apartments in the capital, Constanța, and Năvodari. Licu has two cars, a Toyota and a Lexus, hunting weapons, and watches worth 22,000 euros. He has a bank deposit of 390,000 euros but also a debt to his godfather, businessman Mircea Tudor, of 50,000 euros, due in 2025.

Cristian Deliorga, a judge at CCR (former prosecutor and CSM member), declared an annual income of over 1.3 million lei, or over 22,000 euros per month.

Another CCR judge and former magistrate, Gheorghe Stan (known as Geani), bought, together with his wife, a 138 m² apartment in Marbella, Spain, according to repoteris.ro. He declared an annual income of nearly 900,000 lei, or almost 15,000 euros per month: his CCR salary of over 470,000, nearly 60,000 lei for unused vacation leave in 2022, almost 290,000 lei as a special pension for former magistrates, and another 67,000 lei in back pay for service pension differences for May-August 2023.

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