Bankers on trial: the ever-growing list of executives on the bench
Rodrigo Rato and Narcís Serra are the latest examples of the increasingly long list of bankers who have had to sit on the bench to face accusations of irregular bonuses, bankruptcy of entities, fraud and several other economic crimes.
Almost all have been convicted or investigated for irregularities and excesses in the years of the brick boom, or for stratospheric salaries that they maintained despite the 2008 crisis.
Rodrigo Rato: Former president of Caja Madrid , heads the list of 65 convicted in the case of the ‘black cards’ of that entity, which includes names such as businessman Gerardo Díaz-Ferrán or former head of the Real House Rafael Spottorno . In February 2017, the National Court found them guilty of misappropriating the bank’s assets through opaque cards that were provided to them, and from which they withdrew money without limit for personal use and to the detriment of the bank’s assets. This Wednesday, the Supreme Court has confirmed the penalty of four and a half years in prison for Rato for disbursing with his black 99,000 euros, a sentence for which the former minister must enter the prison.
In addition, Rato is awaiting another trial for an alleged swindle in the IPO of Bankia, the heir of Caja Madrid, which will begin on November 26 and is expected to last until June 2019. In this case, they will sit in the bench about thirty ex-advisers and former directors of the group, in addition to Rato, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for five years in prison.
Miguel Blesa. Former president of Caja Madrid, another of those convicted of black cards. The Court imposed a penalty of six years in prison for misappropriation, a sentence that appealed. He was also subject to other judicial investigations related to his management in front of the bank and the alleged bonuses received by the leadership. But on July 19, 2017, he was found dead with a chest shot on a farm in Córdoba. The subsequent autopsy confirmed that Blesa had committed suicide .
Modesto Crespo: Former president of the Savings Bank of the Mediterranean (CAM), which was intervened in 2011 by the Bank of Spain and after which the authorities began to investigate the leadership for the various irregularities that had caused his fall. The National Court sentenced the ex-couple to sentences of up to 4 years in prison for considering them responsible for having falsified the accounts of the entity between 2010 and 2011, but exempted Crespo.
In May of this year, a new trial against 21 ex- counselors started for the collection of 60,000 euros in Crespo’s allowances, known as the Tinser case. During the process, Crespo reached an agreement with the Office of the Prosecutor for which he accepted the accusations against him in exchange for a reduction in the sentence, from four years to nine months. The trial in the Court of Alicante is under review, which is expected to be announced soon.
Roberto López Abad. Former general director of the CAM involved in the different judicial processes around the box. In 2016 he was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the case of the diets to exdirectivos of the entity, but in 2017 the National Court sentenced him to three years in prison along with the other former director general, María Dolores Amorós, in the case of the accounting falsification of the bank. He is also awaiting sentencing in the Tinser case, in which the Prosecutor’s Office requested a sentence of 4 years in prison against him.
It was also investigated in the case of the sale of preferred CAM, but the case was filed last July by the Supreme Court.
Julio Fernández Gayoso: Former president of Novacaixagalicia (NCG) and one of the five executives of that entity sentenced to two years in prison for the millionaire compensation they assigned themselves before leaving the bank and in full crisis, for some 22 million euros
The other convicts were José Luis Pego, Gregorio Gorriarán, Óscar Rodríguez Estrada and the legal adviser Ricardo Pradas. All of them entered prison in January 2017 to serve a sentence. But Fernández Gayoso was released from prison in July of that same year after serving a quarter of his sentence and having returned the appropriate money, based on his age (85 years) and his delicate state of health. The Judge of Penitentiary Surveillance imposed the realization of volunteer activities.
Juan Pedro Hernández Moltó. Former President of Caja Castilla La Mancha (CCM), ex-deputy and former councilor of the Castilian board. He was sentenced in 2016 by the National Court to two years in prison for a corporate offense of accounting falsification when handling the bank’s accounts, which was intervened in March 2009. It was the first banking intervention of the crisis.
Ricard Pagès: Former CEO of Caixa Penedès, was sentenced in 2014 along with three other former directors to sentences of up to two years in prison for unfair administration to grant salary shields millionaires. It was the first sentence to a throne of savings bank of the crisis, and the magistrates mitigated the penalties because, although they had been demonstrated that their conduct was “malicious”, they returned the more than 28 million euros that had received in pensions.
Mario Conde Perhaps the most famous case among bankers tried. A star of the economic panorama of the 80s, the Bank of Spain intervened in 1993 the entity that presided, Banesto. He was convicted in the Banesto and Argentaria Trust cases for misappropriation, fraud and falsehood, and in 2005 he received the third prison degree.
However, in 2016 he was arrested again in the context of an investigation into money laundering from the Banesto case. Conde managed to get out of jail after paying a deposit of 300,000 euros .
José Luis Olivas: Former President of the Valencian Government and Bancaja, has been involved in several cases. In January 2017 he was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for issuing a bill of half a million euros through a company in his name to justify a money that Entrepreneur Vicente Cotino paid him in exchange for advice that never existed. And last August the National Court processed it along with 47 other people in the Grand Coral case, real estate operations in Mexico that. according to the judge of the case, they assumed “an authentic embezzlement operation” of Bancaja and Banco de Valencia.
In addition, Olivas will sit on the bench along with Rato in the trial for the Bankia IPO .
Narcís Serra: Former president of Catalunya Caixa and minister in the governments of Felipe González, faces since Thursday the trial in the Audiencia of Barcelona. A total of 41 ex-counselors are tried for allegedly assigning millionaire bonuses in the middle of a crisis, and the Prosecutor’s Office asks Serra for a four-year prison sentence.
Domingo Parra: The former CEO of the Bank of Valencia sits on the bench along with another ex-director in the trial that started last week at the National Court for irregular credits that the entity granted to Valencian businessmen. The operations left a hole of 160 million euros.
Ángel Ron: Former President of Banco Popular, as well as Emilio Saracho. The National Court admitted a year ago four lawsuits against both for alleged crimes of corporate falsehood, unfair administration and misappropriation, among others. The judge investigates the bankruptcy of the bank and its subsequent purchase by Santander at the price of one euro.
Alfredo Sáenz: Former CEO of Santander who was sentenced in 2009 to three months in prison for a crime of false accusation against some of Banesto’s debtors. In 2011, Zapatero’s government pardoned him, but two years later the Supreme Court annulled that pardon, believing that this measure of grace had been an “overreach” .