January 25, 2021

Anti-corruption asks for 4 years in prison for Rato for the advertising commissions of Bankia | Economy

Anti-corruption asks for 4 years in prison for Rato for the advertising commissions of Bankia | Economy

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor requests four years in prison and a fine of 2.5 million euros for former president of Bankia Rodrigo Rato and the same economic sanction with three years in prison for former Secretary of State for Commerce José Manuel Fernández Norniella for the irregular commissions that allegedly charged for the advertising contracts of the financial institution.

This action is one of the separate pieces within the investigation that began to know the origin of the fortune of the former Minister of Economy. Currently, Rato is in prison serving a four-year and six-month sentence imposed by the National Court for the cards black in February 2017. In addition, he is being judged by Bankia's IPO.

This is the brief of indictment that has directed the Prosecutor to the Court of Instruction number 31 of Madrid, which on February 21 ordered the prosecution of Rato, Noriella and other 15 people as well as two merchants in relation to contracts signed by Bankia in 2011 and 2012 with the companies Publicis and Zenith Media, in which a commission of 2.02 million euros would have been mediated.

The 14-page brief of the Prosecutor's Office states that Rato imposed since his arrival at Caja Madrid on January 28, 2010, the placement, within the entity, of several persons of his utmost confidence, in order to allow him to exercise strict control over the same exercised from the executive presidency that he occupied and, particularly, as it related to the three advertising contracts that Caja Madrid-BFA-Bankia was going to sign for the expansion of the Bankia brand and the IPO of the entity

"In fact, knowing that the expenses in advertising contracting by the entity he presided over were going to be high, Rodrigo Rato, disregarding the principle of loyalty to which his position obliged him, decided to take personal economic advantage. To this end, he used three people with whom for years he had maintained personal and professional ties, through whom he channeled the commission collection, colloquially splinters, from the companies, which, seeking to be hired by the bank, paid them, until the patrimonial society of Rato, Kradonara 2001 SL, receiver of the same ", indicates the writing.

These people were the accused Teresa Arellano, secretary of Rato, who appointed her as coordinator-general director of Communication and Brand; Miguel Ángel Montero, administrator of numerous family businesses of the former minister; and Fernandez Norniella, whom Rato appointed vice president of the entity and adviser, and who also regularly chaired the Media Committee, replacing the president.

Together with these three defendants, a "pressure group" was created within the General Directorate of Communication and Trademark, which was in charge of hiring the publicity integrated by the defendants Alberto Portuondo, external advisor; the ex-responsible of external communication of Caja Madrid Miguel Robledo and his collaborator Beatriz Colomer.

Start of the plot

The plot began when Portuondo contacted the director of Publicis, Francisco Xavier Olazabal, in mid-2010, so that both this advertising agency and the Zenith media agency, both dependent on Multi Market Services Spain, could access "advantageous and preferential conditions". to the advertising contests that were going to be orchestrated, "according to the prosecutor's account. In this way, the top executives and leaders of both companies – also accused in this case – accepted Portuondo's proposal," knowing the advantages " that the payment of commissions was going to generate "for the mercantile ones.

In addition, Portuondo used its Albisa company as a front company to receive the alleged irregular benefits from Publicis and Zenith. In 2011 it received 1,244,130.72 euros and the following year another 778,023.80 euros, that is, a total of 2,022,154.52 euros. Subsequently, more than 800,000 euros were transferred to Kradonara, the prosecutor explains. Finally, it emphasizes that the payment of commissions from the advertising company and the communication agency ceased once Rato left the financial institution on May 9, 2012.

Petitions for penalties

The biggest requests for condemnation are for Rato and Portuondo, with four years and a fine of 2.5 million euros. The rest of the defendants face a three-year jail sentence although the economic sanction is also 2.5 million. These are Teresa Arellano, Miguel Robledo, Beatriz Colomer, lawyer Miguel Ángel Montero Quevedo and his advisor Domingo Plazas.

The Prosecutor's Office is requesting three years in prison and a fine of 2.5 million euros for advertising agency executives Miguel Angel Furones, Francisco Xavier Olazabal, Sagrario Bua Rojas, Fabrizio Bini, Sergio Lorca, Fernando Rodriguez Varona and Candida Rodriguez. As for the merchants, it asks to condemn Publicis and Zenith Media to a fine of two years with a fee of 100 euros a day, about 73,000 euros, as well as the confiscation of the profit obtained, the 2.02 million euros.


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