Prosecutor Office Accuses Rato Of Tax Fraud And Asks For Penalties

The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office has requested in its brief of provisional conclusions more than 80 years in prison for the former Minister of Economy Rodrigo Rato for allegedly defrauding more than 8.5 million euros , accusing him of crimes against the Public Treasury, money laundering and corruption in businesses, among others, within the framework of the case on the alleged illicit origin of their assets.

José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy at the annual meeting with the FAES Campus. A former PP deputy says that Aznar authorized the collection of bonuses from a councilor from Navarra.

The Public Ministry has accused Rato of eleven crimes against the Public Treasury, requesting penalties of between four and six years in prison for each one; one for money laundering , for which he claims six years; another of punishable insolvency , for which he asks for four years; another on corruption in business , with a request for a sentence of another four years; and of a crime of documentary falsification , which is coupled with another three years.

To this request, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has added the corresponding fines and accessory penalties and compensation to the tax administration for the amounts defrauded.

Millions defrauded
In the statement released this Monday, the Prosecutor’s Office claims to have identified unjustified equity increases between 2005 and 2015 for a total amount of 15.6 million euros, in addition to returns from movable capital abroad not declared to the Treasury, as well as 7, 4 million euros defrauded to the Tax Agency.

To this last figure, Anticorruption points out, we should add the taxation of professional services through their companies, with which the defrauded quotas would amount to 8.5 million euros.

On March 1, the head of Instruction Court number 31 of Madrid decided to prosecute the former vice president of the Government and 16 other individuals, individuals and companies, for possible crimes of corruption in business, money laundering and alleged tax avoidance.

In his car, Judge Antonio Serrano-Arnal concluded the investigation of the case, which since 2015 has been investigating the origin of the former minister’s assets.

Hidden heritage
Anti-corruption maintains that Rato has maintained since 1999 a hidden patrimony to the Spanish Treasury through various companies, with which it would have made investments in “a multitude of bank accounts” opened in the Bahamas, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Monaco , among others.

The documentation obtained in April 2015 after the registration of Rato’s address and elsewhere shows that it also had accounts in the United States and Switzerland unknown to the Spanish Treasury, and that it has operated through accounts in low-tax territories such as the Isle of Man, Kuwait and Curaçao.

In this way, Anticurruption continues, Rato “has allegedly used financial structures to carry out covert cross-border movements of money through trust and opaque companies.”

Tax amnesty
Although Rato received a tax amnesty in November 2012 , he omitted “any reference” to a series of companies and declared a net worth abroad of 115,333 euros, for which he paid 11,533 euros to the Treasury.

Anti-corruption also sees “rational evidence” that Rato, being Chairman of Caja Madrid-Bankia, a position he held between January 2010 and May 2012, improperly charged commissions from the advertising contracts that the bank signed with Publicis and Zenith, relative to the merger and IPO of the entity.

Said commissions, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, were derived to various companies, succeeding in “blurring the origin of the money.”

The case opened in the Madrid court includes Rato and twelve other people, in addition to both advertising agencies as legal entities.

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