Foreign National Sentenced for Trafficking Child Pornography

A Bulgarian national was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to traffic images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of young children.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Plamen Georgiev Velinov, 49, of Sofia, helped manage and administer the Newstar Enterprise, an internet-based business that profited from the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children under the guise of “child modeling,” through a collection of websites called the Newstar Websites. Beginning in around 2006 and continuing until 2019, Velinov assisted the enterprise by selecting children to be featured on the Newstar Websites, editing images and videos on those websites, communicating with customers, setting prices for videos, activating new websites, and creating advertising banners. While chatting with a co-conspirator, Velinov described one child as “nuclear sexy.” Financial records show that U.S.-based co-conspirators transferred more than $400,000 to Velinov’s Bulgarian bank account in connection with the conspiracy. 

The Newstar Enterprise, which was founded around 2005, built and operated the Newstar Websites on servers in the United States and abroad. To generate content for the Newstar Websites, Newstar Enterprise members sourced, enticed, solicited, and recruited males and females under the age of 18, many of whom were prepubescent, to use as “child models” for the Newstar Websites. The Newstar Enterprise used the child victims to produce more than 4.6 million sexualized images and videos – including images and videos depicting children as young as six years old in sexual and provocative poses and wearing revealing underwear, clothing  and costumes – that were distributed and sold through the Newstar Websites. Many of the child victims were recruited from Ukraine, Moldova, and other nations in Eastern Europe and were particularly vulnerable due to their age and socio-economic status.

Images were freely available to the public to preview on the Newstar Websites, but Newstar offered a paid subscription for greater access and more content. Newstar subscribers and customers  were from more than 100 different countries. The sale of Newstar content generated more than $9.4 million during the conspiracy. To process, receive, and distribute this money, Newstar Enterprise leaders fraudulently opened merchant and bank accounts in the United States and laundered proceeds using a bogus jewelry company. 

To date, seven members of the Newstar Enterprise have been charged in connection with the Newstar Websites. The chart below shows the status of each case:




Tatiana Power

Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Pleaded guilty; sentenced to 12.5 years in prison

Kenneth Power

Conspiracy to advertise child pornography; conspiracy to distribute child pornography

Defendant deceased; case dismissed

Pavel Rohel

Conspiracy to produce child pornography; conspiracy to distribute child pornography

Charges pending

Patrice Wilowski-Mevorah

Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Pleaded guilty; sentenced to five years and three months in prison

Anthony Lee Kendall

Conspiracy to commit money laundering; promotion money laundering; concealment money laundering

Defendant deceased; case dismissed

Mary Lou


Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Pleaded guilty; sentenced to 1.5 years in prison

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge John Condon of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa Field Office made the announcement.

The HSI Tampa Field Office and the High Technology Investigative Unit of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) investigated the cases, with substantial assistance provided by the HSI Fort Lauderdale Field Office and HSI Attaché offices in Athens, Greece, the Hague, and Vienna, Austria, as well as by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Sofia, Bulgaria. This investigation also benefited from substantial assistance and cooperation from foreign law enforcement, including from the Republic of Bulgaria, Supreme Cassation Prosecution Office; the National Investigative Service of Bulgaria; the Dutch National Police, International Legal Assistance Center, North Holland Unit; and the Regional Police Directorate for Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. 

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted with securing foreign evidence and with Velinov’s extradition. The Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) provided capacity building assistance and mentoring.

Trial Attorney Kyle P. Reynolds of CEOS and Assistant U.S. Attorney Karyna Valdes for the Middle District of Florida are prosecuting the cases. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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