The National Court has confirmed several settlements and sanctions from the Tax Agency to Torre Rioja, the real estate of Madrid billionaire Ángel Soria, for fraudulent deductions in VAT and Corporation Tax of 2007 and 2008 supported by “false” invoices issued by two companies involved in several cases of tax fraud and urban corruption in Castilla y León.
The “bricklayer with a tie” who takes over the Madrid offices increases his Luxembourg assets with 69 million
The last sentence of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National Court is October 25, days after elDiario.es reported that this businessman had just approved the transfer to Spain of a Luxembourg company with origins in the tax haven of Curaçao, after charging with unusual harshness against the Government for his management of the pandemic and accusing him of having the media “bought”. His company, which in 2020 took advantage of the Socimi (listed rental real estate) regime to pay less taxes, is one of the large office owners in Madrid.
The Hearing has just confirmed the regularization and sanction that the Treasury imposed on Torre Rioja for fraudulently deducting 1.1 million euros in Corporation Tax for 2007 and 2008, by providing invoices for services “that have not been provided in fact “by two companies, Soincom Ingeniería SL and Abascal Consultores SL, involved in cases of tax fraud and urban corruption in Castilla y León.
Soincom’s administrator, José Manuel Castro, was convicted in 2016 for tax crime for helping businessman Luis María García Clérigo, president of the construction company Parqueolid, to defraud millionaire sums to the Treasury by issuing false invoices that “were intended to create a documentary support with which to be able to cover the fraud action to the Public Treasury “, according to the ruling of the Provincial Court of Valladolid.
Parqueolid was the owner of Urban Proyecta PM3, promoter of the building known as Perla Negra, which gives its name to a case of urban corruption linked to the PP whose trial is scheduled for March 2022. The case investigates irregular payments during the government of the popular Juan Vicente Herrera in the construction of that public building with millionaire cost overruns in Arroyo de la Encomienda (Valladolid). One of the defendants is Ángel Montes, owner of Abascal Consultores, the other company whose supposed works for Torre Rioja first dismantled the Treasury and now the National Court.
In the case of Soincom, the Hearing endorses that the Treasury demolished invoices for the amount of 880,000 euros issued in 2007 and 2008. According to the ruling, the Socimi of Ángel Soria only tried to justify before the Hearing the first invoice, of 350,000 euros, for technical advice and preparation of documentation for the purchase of a plot, in a public tender, in the Boecillo Technology Park (Valladolid) and the subsequent development of a hotel.
Regarding the second invoice, for 530,000 euros, “the lawsuit has kept absolute silence,” says the Hearing, which does not believe the testimonies collected or the documentary evidence provided by Torre Rioja, which qualifies as “the necessary clothing to cover up the absence of reality of these services, which the Tax Administration considered as simulation; and the truth is that, whether or not it had criminal relevance, this action cannot but be classified as false, in the sense of not responding to reality “.
The sentence endorses the “crystal clear” position of the State Bar: “It is not logical to try to prove the services underlying two invoices that cost almost 900,000 euros” with some documents, “which are easily manipulated, and in two testimonies absolutely vague, dumped almost 15 years later. ” “Some services of this nature should have left a much more concrete and serious documentary trail,” he reasons.
In the case of Abascal Consultores, the invoice to Torre Rioja was issued in January 2008. At that time, its owner was already charged with a case of false invoices, which, together with the fact that Torre Rioja’s payments were not made until October of 2009, triggered the alarms of the Inspection. The alleged works consisted of “carrying out studies and analysis of urban developments in the Community of Madrid”, which allowed Torre Rioja to deduct 214,500 euros. The ruling confirms the criteria of the Tax Agency, the Central Economic Administrative Court (TEAC) and the Regional Economic Administrative Court (TEAR) of Madrid, and reproduces the arguments of another resolution of July last year, when it already confirmed a settlement to Torre Rioja for the 2008 VAT that included a penalty of 116,125 euros for expenses related to those same companies.
Then, the Hearing stressed that Abascal Consultores had “a single employee who could hardly prepare 21 reports or urban studies referring to different localities, taking into account that the service provider resides in Valladolid.” Some “useless” reports, because “in addition to lacking a date, an identified author and a recipient, they dealt with real estate, but with data that, as specified in them, were pending verification.”
In addition, “they were not followed by any real estate investment”, something that Torre Rioja attributed to the economic crisis of 2008. “But if this is the case, it is not understood that the entity decided to spend such a high amount on reports that were useless to refer to. to unverified data “. “For this reason, the Chamber understands that given the plurality of evidence exposed, the conclusion reached by the Inspection, endorsed by the TEAC, is logical and reasonable when it comes to understanding that the service provided and documented in the invoice was not real.”
In the new sentence, the Hearing reaffirms the guilt that justified the penalty against Torre Rioja, since deducting expenses “for services that the recipient knows have not actually been provided” is “the paradigm of malicious conduct.” It has also ruined almost 20,000 euros in deductions for office expenses that included “pictorial work, magazine subscriptions, travel articles, massage chairs”, a radar detector, “books, newspapers, televisions, cameras, etc. “. “These were expenses to meet personal and non-business needs.”
Of the richest
At 66, Soria, who is preparing the IPO of his company, is one of the great Spanish fortunes, despite being unknown to the general public. The latest ranking of rich Spaniards from El Mundo attributed a net worth of 335 million euros, ranking 154 of the wealthiest people in the country. The businessman, who a few years ago defined himself as “a bricklayer with a tie“He inherited his real estate company from his father, José Soria Velasco, who died in 2002 and who four decades ago was already one of the 100 richest people in Spain, ahead of Rafael del Pino, founder of Ferrovial.
Despite the underground profile of its owner, Torre Rioja recently took down its latest accounts accusing the Government of creating “an atmosphere of terror” with the coronavirus crisis, having the media “bought” and managing the health emergency with some results that he has defined as “possibly the worst in the world”.
The real estate company closed the 2020 financial year (concluded in November) with properties with an approximate appraisal value of 610 million. The group in which it consolidates, Ra SL, ended the year with assets of more than 566 million. Torre Rioja declared in 2020 losses of 20.6 million, compared to the profit of 8.7 million a year earlier. According to their latest accounts, on March 29, 2020 “the corresponding receipt was presented to the Tax Agency” for conversion into a Socimi “with retroactive effects from the tax period of December 1, 2019” to benefit from tax exemptions. of these societies.
With more than 180,000 square meters of surface area above ground in offices, land with more than 80,000 square meters of buildable area and hotels in Madrid, where it is home to multinationals such as Roche, BNP or General Electric, Torre Rioja concentrates its portfolio of buildings on the axis from the Castellana and east of the capital. It also has hotels, a property in Budapest and hundreds of parking spaces. It has a subsidiary in Andorra and controls 3% of the Tubacex industrial group. Soria presides over a sicav, Menara Capital, with a net worth of 3.8 million. Faced with the fall in the real estate business, the businessman has chosen to diversify. In December, it bought 9% of Creand Wealth Management, formerly Banco Alcalá, of the Crèdit Andorra Group, for 6.12 million.