The judge of the National Court José Luis Calamahas imputed to Banco Santanderas a juridical person in the case that investigates the management of the ex-presidents of Popular Angel Ron and Emilio Saracho for the capital increase undertaken in 2016 and in which they could have incurred in thecrimes of corporate falsehood and unfair administrationagainst the market, documentary falsehoods and misappropriation.
The holder of the Central Court of Instruction number 4 agrees to impute Santander as the entity that the Popular absorbed once its resolution was decided. In this way, the bank chaired by Ana Botín 'inherits' thecriminal liability that may have been incurred by the managers of the other bank, which no longer exists as a legal entity.
In a car, Calama agrees on the "procedural succession for the absorption of companies, taking as its object the presentproceeding against Banco Santander"once the registration of the merger by absorption agreement has been accredited in the present proceedings, in which Banco Santander absorbs and acquires all the assets and liabilities of Banco Popular as a block and on a universal basis.
The judge explains that, as established inArticle 130.2 of the Criminal Code"The transformation, merger, absorption or division of a legal entity does not extinguish its criminal liability, which will be transferred to the entity or entities in which it is transformed, merged or absorbed and will be extended to the entity or entities resulting from the spin-off" .
In this way, the magistrate dictates that once theexpert report on the absorption of Banco Popularon the part of Santander, it will be agreed the declaration in judicial headquarters of the legal representative of the second.
The acquisition for 1 euro of the Banco Popular took place in June 2017 and only three months later Judge Fernando Andreu – the former instructor of the case – charged the ex-presidents of the entity Ron and Saracho and members of the former board of directors , taking care of different complaints that had been presented in the National Court.
Following the criterion ofAnticorruption Prosecutor,Andreu then agreed to open two separate pieces: the first one, related to the capital increase carried out in 2016 amounting to 2,505 million euros; and the second, with the manipulation of the market by publishing news with "false" information and information before the Popular was sold to Banco Santander.
But in addition, Judge Andreu also admitted thecomplaint from the Organization of Consumers and Users(OCU) directed against the Popular that included the ex-board delegates of the Popular Pedro Larena and Roberto Higuera and the auditor of PwC Pedro Barrio.
According to the complaint of the OCU, and this was reflected in the magistrate's order, the defendants would have distorted the bank's accounts (which went from presenting benefits of 93.4 million euros to losses close to 3,500 million at the close of exercise of 2016) with the aim of creating, on the occasion of the capital increase in May 2016, "a fiction that reflects an unreal financial situation".
In addition to the OCU, the procedure isAssociation of Users of Savings Banks and Insurance (Adicae)as well as former shareholders and customers. More than 300 are grouped in the Association Affected by the sale of Banco Popular and most of them are shareholders, bondholders or subordinated debt investors of the entity, although they have also integrated all those shareholders who transmitted their securities before the sale of the bank in June of last year and that therefore also suffered heavy losses.