The National Court begins this Monday the trial for the so-called “Nueva Rumasa case“, in which six children of businessman José María Ruiz-Mateos and nine other people are accused of the crimes of aggravated fraud, money laundering, uprising of assets and against the public treasury.
These are the brothers Álvaro, Zoilo, José María, Pablo, Francisco Javier and Alfonso Ruiz Mateos, along with other members of the Ruiz Mateos family Zoilo Pazos Jiménez and Alfonso Barón Rivero. In addition, Nueva Rumasa workers and collaborators Manuel Sánchez Marín, José Ramón Romero, Rufino Romero de la Rosa and Ricardo Álvarez Castaño, as well as businessman Ángel de Cabo, among others, are prosecuted.
The case dates back to 2009-2011when the family business chaired by José María Ruiz-Mateos (died in 2015) allegedly devised a “pyramid” system through the issuance of promissory notes, which allowed him to capture – without revealing the group’s delicate financial situation – 337 million of euros contributed by 4,100 individuals. Of that amount, the company left unreturned 289millionaccording to the indictment of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office of 2017. The case brings together the complaints from 1,409 victims for the fall of Nueva Rumasa, who claim 171 million euros.
The thesis of the Prosecutor’s Office is that the funds captured “were redirected to a single box in a branch of the Etcheverría bank in Madrid, which the accused used depending on the needs” of the group, although they were also paid for with this money. “large personal expenses of the family clan“. In addition, he points out that at the moment “the ultimate destination of 82 million euros that the accused withdrew in cash from the bank accounts is unknown.”
Anti-corruption asked 16 years in prison for each of the Ruiz-Mateos brothers: 9 years for fraud, 4 for money laundering and 3 for confiscation of assets. In addition, it requested that the fifteen defendants “jointly and severally indemnify the persons listed as investors” in the promissory notes and other similar securities issued by the group.
In April 2017, the judge of the National Court José de la Mata decided to open an oral trial for the “New Rumasa case” and imposed a bail of 496million of euros to the six children involved. De la Mata described the alleged irregular operations devised by the defendants in Nueva Rumasa, a business conglomerate that was facing serious economic problems as early as 2008 and which continued to worsen until it was on the brink of insolvency.
In addition to the stratagems to obtain financing, the defendants began to hatch a plot to hide and try to save their assets in the face of the imminent fall of the business emporium and the civil and criminal liabilities that could arise, according to the magistrate. The objective was to make their assets and capital disappear so that they could later be recovered through front men, commercial companies opened in tax havens and through financial practices that were “completely irregular, with no purpose other than the creation of layers of opacity.”