fraud

Current and former FC Barcelona presidents may go on trial for Neymar signing

May 13, 2015 11:31 PM | ACN

The judge at Madrid’s 'Audiencia Nacional', which is a court investigating and ruling on organised crime, terrorism and international fiscal offenses, announced on Wednesday the launching of an ‘oral trial’ against FC Barcelona itself, its current President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and his predecessor and friend, Sandro Rosell, over Neymar Jr's signing. In the end, neither Rosell's resignation in January 2014, nor the payment of a complementary tax declarations have prevented a judge from requesting the opening of a trial against the Catalan club and its former and current presidents. However, it is not clear whether the trial will take place in the end, since there are some doubts about the court jurisdiction. The Audiencia National judge is accusing all of themof alleged corporate and tax offenses in the Brazilian player’s signing. The judge believes that the total amount of the transfer was €83.3 million and not the €57.1 million stated by Rosell in 2013. In addition, the judge believe Rosell hid the real figure from the club's balance sheets.

Son of former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, tells judge how Andorran money grew

March 26, 2015 10:42 PM | ACN

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, has testified in court to explain the management of the money his family kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Jordi Pujol senior confessed the alleged fraud in July, shocking the entire Catalan society and destroying his moral leadership. In the past few months, the former Catalan President (1980-2003), his wife, and 6 of their 7 children have been indicted for alleged fiscal fraud, and 3 of them are also indicted for other corruption and fraud cases. The Spanish authorities may have known about irregular activities of the Pujol family for decades, but it only made front-pages when the former President started to publicly support independence. Besides, the Catalan Parliament have already undertaken a series of hearings to investigate potential corrupt practices during Pujol's governments.

Former 'number 2' of governing Liberal party CDC, Oriol Pujol, denies corrupt practices

March 3, 2015 02:31 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament has continued its interrogation of the Pujol family for alleged fiscal fraud and corrupt practices, after Jordi Pujol – who uninterruptedly headed the Catalan Government between 1980 and 2003 – confessed in July that his family had kept a fortune in the fiscal haven of Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Pujol (aged 84), his wife, and 6 of their 7 sons and daughters have been indicted by the judge in the case. On top of this, 3 sons have received further indictments for other cases, including Oriol Pujol, who was the Secretary General of the Liberal party CDC, which is the largest force within the two-party coalition CiU that has ran the Catalan Government since late 2010. On Monday, it was Oriol Pujol's turn to speak before the parliamentary commission investigating alleged fiscal fraud and corrupt practices during the 23 years Jordi Pujol led the Catalan Government.

Son of former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, speaks about some of his businesses but not the Andorran money

February 24, 2015 12:03 PM | ACN

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, has testified before the Catalan Parliament’s commission investigating fraud and corruption. He did so after the testimonies of his father and mother, while all 3 have been indicted and are in the middle of judicial processes for alleged fraud. Unlike his parents, Pujol Jr answered most of the questions posed - except those related to money the family had kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Pujol Jr said he will explain this directly to the judge in his testimony scheduled for the 26th of March. However, he did speak before the parliamentary commission for 4.5 hours about some of his business activities and his accumulated wealth. He also denied having operated from fiscal havens (besides the family money in Andorra) and having practiced influence peddling or any corrupt activity profiting from his father’s position. Besides this, he also emphasised he is an “intimate friend” of the current Catalan President, Artur Mas, despite the latter having denied this a few days ago.

Former Catalan President Jordi Pujol insists on previous statements on fiscal fraud in parliamentary hearing

February 23, 2015 10:21 PM | ACN

Before the Catalan Parliament's commission investigating fraud and corruption, former President of the Catalan Government Jordi Pujol has testified in order to address his family's alleged fiscal fraud. Pujol was asked to talk before the parliamentary committee despite having been indicted by the judge and having already testified in front of her in January. Pujol, who ran the Executive between 1980 and 2003, did not add any new information and refused to answer many questions, referring to his previous statement before the judge and the previous hearing before the Catalan Parliament in September. He criticised the current parliamentary commission for not sufficiently proving their accusations., Pujol's wife, Marta Ferrusola, who is also indicted and who has previously testified before the judge, also spoke before the parliamentary commission. Ferrusola did not answer many questions but stressed that she "never" travelled to Andorra to manage funds.

FC Barcelona and its President are indicted for alleged fiscal fraud regarding Neymar’s signing

February 3, 2015 09:48 PM | ACN

Spain’s National Court, a Madrid-based high court in charge of investigating and ruling on transnational felonies, announced on Tuesday the indictment of FC Barcelona – as a legal person – and its President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, for alleged fiscal fraud regarding Neymar Jr’s transfer and signing for the Catalan club. The judge considers there to be enough evidence to suggest that the Catalan club and Bartomeu could have committed fiscal felony in the tax declarations for the signing of the Brazilian star. Bartomeu will have to testify with his lawyers before the Madrid-based judge on 13 February. FC Barcelona issued a press statement in which it expresses its “surprise, indignation and disagreement”. Furthermore the Catalan club announced that it shall act determinedly to defend its interests and honour.

Former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, his wife and 3 of their children testify before judge for fiscal fraud

January 27, 2015 09:16 PM | ACN

After confessing that his family had kept a fortune in Andorra without informing tax authorities for 34 years, the President of the Catalan Government between 1980 and 2003 and founder of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU, Jordi Pujol, his wife Marta Ferrussola and 3 of their 7 children (Marta, Mireia and Pere) testified before the judge investigating the case. They are indicted for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering. During more than 2 hours, Pujol (aged 84) answered the judge’s and the anti-corruption public prosecutor’s questions. He insisted that his father had left a hand-written letter with instructions about 140 million pesetas secretly left in Andorra in 1980 for his wife and children, but not him, coming from his “illegal” activities selling currencies during the dictatorship. However, the defence has not yet presented any supporting documents. Besides this, 3 of Pujol’s other sons are indicted for other fiscal fraud and corruption cases.

Catalan President to testify before parliamentary committee investigating Pujol’s fraud confession

January 26, 2015 10:58 PM | ACN

The current President of the Catalan Government and leader of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Artur Mas, will have to testify as a witness before the Catalan Parliament’s committee investigating the alleged fiscal fraud and possible corruption committed by the former Catalan President and CiU’s leader until 2003, Jordi Pujol. Artur Mas is Pujol’s political heir and was the ‘number 2’ in his last cabinet. Pujol, who uninterruptedly chaired the Catalan Executive between 1980 and 2003, confessed last July that his family had kept a fortune in Andorra for the last 34 years without informing tax authorities. The confession shocked Catalan society, since the historical leader of the conservative Catalan nationalists was a crucial figure in the fight against Franco’s dictatorship, the transition to democracy and the recovery of Catalonia’s self-government. Now, Pujol, his wife and 6 of their 7 children are being investigated by the judiciary for alleged fiscal fraud and several corruption scandals. 

Soprano Montserrat Caballé avoids trial for tax fraud with a €240,000 fine

December 23, 2014 07:46 PM | ACN

The world famous opera singer Montserrat Caballé reached on Tuesday a prejudicial agreement to avoid trial for tax fraud committed in 2010. The Catalan soprano, aged 81, admitted that her fiscal residence was not set in the fiscal haven of Andorra that year and therefore had evaded paying taxes to the Spanish authorities. Caballé, who is considered one of the greatest sopranos ever by both critics and fans alike, accepted the Public Prosecution’s petition of a 6-month jail sentence and a €240,000 fine, which corresponds to almost half of the evaded money. Since the jail sentence is shorter than 2 years and Caballé has no criminal record, she will not have to be imprisoned. The fine is to be added to the €508,000 she already deposited in the spring to compensate the Spanish Tax Agency. On top of this, she will still have to pay €75,000, corresponding to the interest on the money evaded.

Transparency and Good Governance Law approved in Catalonia

December 18, 2014 09:44 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament approved on Thursday the Law on Transparency, Information Access and Good Governance with 81% in support and 2% in opposition. This bill comes a few months after the Catalan Government was graded 100 points out of 100 by Transparency International Spain for the information it makes available to citizens through its website about public contracts, tenders, subsidies and elected officials. However, these measures also come after years of corruption scandals, which have not only occurred across Spain, but also in Catalonia. The main parties have backed the new law, while two other parties abstained and one voted against the bill because they said they did not trust the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU. With the new law, access to information will become a citizen’s right, which can only be limited when it affects people’s intimacy or a few other exceptions, including public security. 

Director of Public Prosecution Office resigns after arguing with Rajoy and Catalan prosecutors

December 18, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

Spain’s Director of the Public Prosecution Office, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, has announced his resignation “for personal reasons”. However, it is well-known that Torres-Dulce has had several arguments with the Spanish Government, run by the People’s Party (PP) and chaired by Mariano Rajoy. The latest argument was about prosecuting the Catalan President and other members of the Catalan Government for the symbolic vote on independence held on 9 November. Several PP members announced the penal actions before Torres-Dulce had given the instruction to press charges. At that time, Torres-Dulce denied having been pressured by the Spanish Government, but many voices criticised the absence of a separation of powers. On top of this, the main public prosecutors in Catalonia initially rejected the criminal complaint, but Torres-Dulce – appointed by the Spanish Government – obliged them to file it. Furthermore, he has also had many arguments with the PP on account of the numerous corruption scandals being investigated.

Judge indicts former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, his wife, one son and two daughters

December 16, 2014 09:46 PM | ACN

The former Catalan President and founder of the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Jordi Pujol, confessed in July that his family had kept millions in fiscal havens for almost 35 years without informing tax authorities. Furthermore, in the last two years, several judicial and police investigations have implicated several of Jordi Pujol's sons in financial and corruption scandals. Now, the judge investigating the former Catalan President's confession has decided to indict him, as well as his wife, Marta Ferrussola, and three of their children: Mireia, Pere and Marta. Three other sons have been already indicted for other cases: Jordi (junior), Oriol and Oleguer. The fraud confessed by Jordi Pujol, who chaired the Catalan Government for 23 consecutive years (1980-2003) and was a key person during the fight against Franco and the democratic transition, has had a great impact upon Catalan society.

Green Socialist leader highlights the need to vote on social issues and budget cuts besides independence

December 15, 2014 09:53 PM | ACN

Joan Herrera, the leader of the Catalan Green Socialist and post-Communist coalition ICV-EUiA, also held his own conference on Catalonia's political future and self-determination road map, after those of the Catalan President, the Spanish Prime Minister and three other political leaders. Despite supporting Catalans' right to vote on independence, Herrera rejected exclusively voting on independence, since after years of budget cuts and corruption scandals, citizens also have to vote on social issues and measures to clean up the democratic system. Herrera strongly criticised the austerity measures approved by the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU and the People's Party (PP). The ICV-EUiA does not have an official position regarding independence and about half of its leadership and voters would support it, while the other half supports greater powers for the Catalan Government within a federal Spain.

Property developer and former FC Barcelona President, Josep Lluís Núñez, goes to jail for tax fraud

November 17, 2014 09:35 PM | ACN

Josep Lluís Núñez Clemente – aged 83 – and his son – who had been Director of the family company – have been accused of bribing tax inspectors in the 1990s regarding their private business and have entered jail this weekend for a 2 year sentence. Núñez senior chaired FC Barcelona between 1978 and 2000 but his sentence has nothing to do with the famous sports club's activities. After one of the longest judicial processes in Spain's history, Núñez senior and his son were initially convicted in July 2011 with 6 years in prison and a €2 million fine. They were accused of bribing tax inspectors with €1 million in order to avoid paying more than €13 million in taxes between 1991 and 1999, and of forging official documents. However, they appealed the decision and the Spanish Supreme Court reduced their prison time. They filed a last appeal to avoid going to prison but in October 2014 Barcelona's High Court ratified their imprisonment. Considering Núñez senior's age, he could be granted day parole in a few weeks.

Swiss UBS guarantees that Mayor of Barcelona doesn't have any account, rejecting 'El Mundo' accusations

October 31, 2014 08:38 PM | ACN

On Friday, the Swiss bank UBS issued a certificate stating that Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, does not and has never had any account with them, contradicting the accusations launched at him by Spanish nationalist newspaper 'El Mundo' on Monday which mentioned sources from the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry. Trias, who supports Catalan independence from Spain, strongly rejected the accusations of having €12.9 million in a secret bank account in Switzerland on the very first day they were published and he cautioned against dirty tricks from the Spanish Government. In addition, the Mayor also announced a judicial complaint against the newspaper and he said he would ask for such a certificate. On Tuesday, 'El Mundo' insisted on the accusations and it even published the UBS bank account number on its front page, while Trias filed the judicial complaint. Now, after UBS guaranteed that he has never had and does not have a bank account with them, Trias is asking for the resignation of the Spanish Home Affair Minister.