In over five years of her activity in the system, the magistrate of the Causeni District Court, Maria Tugui, contracted numerous credits. According to her Declaration of Income and Property, the judge has taken credits from nine banks and microfinance institutions. Moreover, she has debts of tens of thousands of euros contracted from individuals. Additionally, one of Maria Tugui's ex-husbands accused the judge of leaving him homeless and penniless with numerous debts, after persuading him to sign warrant letters for the loans she had taken.
Maria Tugui, formerly Tertea, drew the attention of the media when in April 2014, she had acquitted the former judge of the Bender Court of Appeal, Nicolae Nogai, labeled the "raider judge". Nogai was accused by prosecutors of having legalized in the summer of 2011, the alienation of 27.5% of the shares of Moldova Agroindbank (MAIB). According to the prosecutor, the magistrate had legalized the decision of ad hoc arbitration of Sankt-Petersburg, by which several shares of MAIB were taken over. As a result, 27.5% of MAIB shares belonging to European investors from the Netherlands and Slovenia were transferred to an offshore company.
In the court hearings, Nogai claimed that the signature on the decision was not his and requested a graphological expertise. Maria Tugui, then Tertea, accepted Nogai's request and later acquitted the "raider judge". After this decision, the magistrate is called "Nogai's judge".
Cottage in Tohatin
In June 2013, just over a year after becoming a judge, Magistrate Tugui bought a house in the village of Tohatin, a suburb of Chisinau.
A day earlier, the woman signed a mortgage agreement for 397 thousand lei to purchase the house.
According to the Declaration of Income and Property for 2016, the building has an area of over 103 square meters, its cadastral value being 677 thousand lei. Although the magistrate uses the entire building, half of it is registered into the name of a known doctor from Chisinau. Our sources claim that Maria Tugui had borrowed 30,000 euros from him and secured the loan with part of the property. The debt, which of course, does not appear in the Declaration.
After purchasing the house, the judge carried out repairs, changed the roof and built a garage in the courtyard.
On May 16, 2014, less than a year after the purchase of the real estate property, the judge took another loan of 117,000 lei with an interest rate of 9% for a 10-year term, pledging the same building to the same bank.
In the period of March 25, 2016 to August 3 of the same year, the judge took other six credits in the amount of over 107 thousand lei and 6670 dollars.
Homeless with numerous debts
I.T., Maria Tugui’s former husband, claims that in three years of their marriage, the judge left him homeless and full of debts after persuading him to execute several loans into his name. The debts are not included in the Declaration of Income and Property.
The man says that he met the magistrate when he was working as a taxi driver. They soon got married and then his life tuned into a real nuisance. “I had a big house, of over a hundred square meters in my native village. After the official registration of the marriage, I don’t know how she managed to convince me to include her in the list of owners. She had huge debts and to help her somehow, I went to work in Moscow. Meanwhile, she found buyers for my house and I was invited to sign the documents. Part of the money Maria took to extinguish her debts. Meanwhile, I carried out some construction work in the cottage in Tohatin," the man told us.
I.T. also said his former wife had convinced him to borrow 345,000 lei from a microfinance company and 20,000 euros from an acquaintance of hers.
The man says his ex-wife paid off the credit to the Ideal-credit, but she failed to honor her commitments to other creditors, including some microfinance firms, "In May 2017, she came up with a large sum of money, about 15,000 euros and paid it to the bank. But I have problems with the others. One of them, who lent her 20,000 euros, calls me and threatens with physical aggression. I don’t know where to hide. The only thing I managed to obtain is some warrant letters, in which she recognizes her debts and promises to pay them off. But creditors anyway continue to ask the money from me."
I.T. says that his wife did not tell him what she was doing with the money. At the same time, during their marriage he invested his own resources in construction and repair work in the house from Tohatin.
"I don’t know what she was doing with the money. She brought money from somewhere and then took it elsewhere. I think she was playing with the interest rate and had to pay non-formal fees to be promoted in her career. Her salary of 14,000 lei per month was not enough to pay the interest rates," the magistrate’s former husband said.
I.T. He also reported that his ex-wife complained of being caught by the NAC officers in the act of taking a 2000- euro bribe from a lawyer to settle a case, after which she had to pay them 5,000 euros not to initiate a criminal case.
Rejected by Dodon and rescued by SCM
On 15 March 2015, Maria Tugui’s term of office expired, and the Superior Council of Magistracy came up with the proposal to appoint her as judge until she reaches the age limit. However, Igor Dodon rejected the nomination of "Nogai's judge", referring to the compromising information contained in the opinion of the Information Security Service.
The SCM repeatedly proposed Maria Tugui's candidacy, noting that the judicial inspection carried out a check and did not find any inconsistencies in the magistrate's work as a judge.
On June 6, 2017, the SCM makes another favor to Maria Tugui and accepts her request for a transfer to another court of the same level.
Our sources informed us that the magistrate is to work at the Buiucani District Court of Chisinau.
On 11 July, Maria Tugui divorced and took over her former surname, that of Tertea.
I called Maria Tugui (Tertea) to give her the possibility to express her position. "I'm having a meeting now. I'll call you later," the magistrate told us. Later, she was not available.