Anti-corruption asks for four and a half years in prison for the former CEO of Dia


Madrid

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The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor requests a conviction of four and a half years in prison for the former CEO of Grupo Dia, Ricardo Currás and penalties of three years and one day for his former directors Amando Sánchez Falcón, Antonio Arranz, Juan Cubillo and Luís Martínez for a continuous crime of falsification in the company’s accounts, which resulted in an out of balance of 57.2 million euros.

As reported in legal sources to ABC, the indictment of the Prosecutor’s Office places Currás as the author of the crime, while the other four will have to respond as cooperators needed. In the case of the business group, he will sit on the bench as a subsidiary civil officer.

In addition to the jail sentence, Anti-Corruption requests a fine of 13,500 euros for Curras and that it compensate Dia with more than 275,000 euros, according to the same sources. For the rest, the financial penalty is less, around 3,600 euros and the subsidiary responsibility is at the expense of what the Chamber decides during the trial.

On February 26, the Central 6 reinforcement judge, Alejandro Abascal, agreed to continue the procedure against these five people and put an end to the investigation initiated in 2019 from the lawsuit filed by Dia shareholders, given that the restatement of the accounts of 2017 in 2018 meant a collapse of the share above 14%.

Accounting Artifices

According to the initial conclusions, Currás, CEO at that stage, used his position to maneuver over certain games of Dia España’s accounting due to the progressive worsening of the group’s results and the fall in the share as of 2015.

Specifically, orders are attributed to it that altered the computation of certain magnitudes «that they did not respect the accounting regulations, nor the reality of the business, but they allowed to improve results, both in 2016 and in 2017, as those of 2017 were especially lower than expectations, given the price reductions that the group was forced to make in Spain to relaunch sales ».

These practices include a forecast of unjustified income from negotiating with suppliers amounting to 6.3 million euros, the incorrect accounting of income for charges from own-brand suppliers up to 21.7 million euros, the unjustified elimination of the provision of pending invoices for an amount of 18.3 million euros and the payment of bonuses and gratuities to staff for a value of 5, 5 million.

The orders, by Currás

The instructor, as Anti-Corruption, attributes to Currás the order that such provisions should not be made in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years so that the company’s results are not diminished on paper, a maneuver that he was able to carry out by «the position of trust it had before the Board of Directors and the position of hierarchical superiority that it had before all the personnel of the top management ».

The problem is that the balance was not real and the difference was dragging year after year generating a growing accumulated in the hope that they would end up going back the results of the company to compensate the hole without anyone noticing.

But that moment did not come and in 2018 Dia had to re-express the accounts of the previous year, although it also affected the numbers for 2016, upsetting the balance of 57.2 million euros and generating a relevant event for the National Market Commission of Securities that it directly impacted the value of the shares.

Everything, according to the instructor, happened with the collusion of number two from Currás, Amando Sánchez Falcón, and Antonio Arranz, Luis Martínez and Juan Cubillo, who “agreed to follow the indications” and being able to do so, never advised the Council or the auditors of what was happening.

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