February 28, 2021

The judge believes that Monedero falsified an invoice to collect from the consulting firm hired later by Podemos

The head of the Court of Instruction number 42 of Madrid, Juan José Escalonilla, believes that Juan Carlos Monedero was able to falsify an invoice in December 2018 to collect 26,200, 31 euros from Neurona, the consultancy that Podemos later hired for the April 2019 elections , as recorded in a car from last November to which he had access elDiario.es.

“It is necessary to act, as stated by the acting force (the Police), that said document was prepared ad hoc to justify said entry into said bank account, not meeting the requirements of an invoice “, assures the magistrate in his reasoned resolution.

The judge, then, links that false invoice to the hiring by United We of Neurona Consulting for various jobs allegedly related to the April 2019 elections.

“It can be indirectly understood that the perception of said amount by Juan Carlos Monedero was related to the subsequent foundation or constitution of the commercial company Neurona Comunidad SL, and with the alleged hiring of it by the electoral coalition Unidad Podemos of the contract of provision of services mentioned above ”, writes the magistrate. Neurona Consulting and Neurona Comunidad are linked to César Hernández Pérez, partner and administrator of the former and director of the latter.

Escalonilla, however, does not specify at the moment whether it refers to the fact that the payment to Monedero is an alleged bite in exchange for the coalition’s contract with the consultant or what crime it appreciates in said conduct. Monedero or third parties have been cited as investigated by the judge, according to the content of the separate piece, the full content of which this medium has had access to.

Monedero collected the aforementioned amount on January 25, 2019, “this is one month and two days before the formalization of the contract between Unidos Podemos and Neurona Comunidad SL,” the judge highlights in the car. Those services between the political formation and the consulting firm amounted to 363,000 and constitute the center of the investigation carried out by Judge Escalonilla as a result of a complaint by the dismissed lawyer of Podemos José Manuel Calvente, when the magistrate doubted that they were actually provided.

The Wallet invoice in turn centers this separate piece that has been secretly investigated since September. Escalonilla decided to end the secrecy of the investigations once “all the investigation procedures have been carried out, the conduct of which justified the secrecy of the proceedings,” as recorded in the order of February 5. The individual parties have had access to the entire secret piece in the last few hours.

The investigation has been carried out by the Unit against Economic and Fiscal Crime (UDEF) of the Police based on an alert from the Money Laundering Prevention Service (Sepblac). The judge has been accepting the procedures proposed by the Police and rejecting others, according to the criteria of the Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the agents, Magistrate Escalonilla distrusts the terms in which Monedero prepared the invoice. “In said invoice it appears as the issuer of the same Neurona Consulting SA, when the logical thing is that if Juan Carlos Monedero was the provider of said service, it would be issued by him, also not containing a receiver.”

“It is also noted (in the police reports) that said invoice is dated December 30, 2018, corresponding to a Sunday, also being invoice number 1, which allows a rational conclusion, based on the date of said invoice, that just one day after the end of the year, no more invoices have been issued and therefore there has been no activity, “writes the judge in the November order that elconfidencial.com announced this Friday.

The Police point out, and the judge reflects this, that it is “common” to issue false invoices “under the protection of the alleged performance of advisory services, as it is a difficult service to verify.” The agents have investigated the assets of Monedero during these months in different reports delivered to the judge without any other irregularity having been revealed.

Calvente’s complaint and lines filed

The investigation that has been ongoing since last summer in a Madrid court was opened as a result of the complaint that Calvente presented in December 2019 to the Civil Guard. The lawyer argued in that complaint that there could be “illegal hiring” to simulate expenses and thus take “commissions.”

The agents prepared a statement in which they appreciated crimes of unfair administration and embezzlement and Judge Escalonilla ordered a series of proceedings among which were the imputation of the Secretary of Communication of Podemos and responsible for the last two electoral campaigns, Juan Manuel del Olmo Del Olmo, the manager, Rocío Esther Val, and the treasurer, Daniel de Frutos.

The judge also took a statement from Calvente himself, who on social networks had said that the case was “worse than Gürtel” but that in his statement he lowered his accusations and said that he had no evidence of these “self-contracts.” Podemos asked to appear at the proceedings and the judge attributed the status of investigated to him, a figure that the prosecutor has reiterated that he must maintain as a guarantee measure.

Accusations against the party have been lowered in recent months. In October, the judge dismissed due to lack of evidence the open line of investigation on the supposed “opaque” outflow of money from the fund to which party leaders make donations for social projects, the so-called ‘solidarity fund’. The magistrate concluded that there was no unfair administration in the fund that Calvente defined as ‘box B’, a name that the opposition parties also endorsed. Days before, he had also agreed to cancel proceedings that he himself had requested aimed at investigating the party’s contracts with the Portuguese consultancy ADB Europa after verifying that the Court of Accounts had proven that there were no irregularities in those contracts.

In an order of January 12, the judge also ruled out the “distraction of money” destined to the execution of the works in the headquarters for “payments or works outside” said works and dismissed the investigation for an alleged crime of misappropriation around those works. It also agreed to dismiss the case on the alleged crime of revealing secrets and violation of privacy that Calvente had also denounced.


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