April 10, 2021

The judge prosecutes Currás and four other former directors of Día for falsehoods in the accounts




The reinforcement judge of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 of the National Court, Alejandro Abascal has agreed to prosecute the former Chief Executive Officer of Día, Ricardo Currás and former directors Luis Martínez Gallardo, Armando Sánchez Falcón, Antonio Arranz and Juan Cubillo, as well as the supermarket chain itself as a subsidiary civil liability for a continued crime of falsifying accounts.

In a car notified this Friday, Abascal thus put an end to the instruction initiated in 2019 from a complaint by the minority shareholders of Día for fraud against the chain’s executive, taking into account that the accounts for the year 2017 did not accurately and truthfully reflect the economic situation of the company and had notable accounting irregularities.

After two years of investigations, the judge, in line with the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, agrees to continue the procedure against the five former directors mentioned and archives the proceedings for seven people charged so far: two partners of the KPMG auditor, the members of the Audit and Compliance committee and the person responsible for the regulatory compliance policy of Día.

As detailed in the order, Currás, who was CEO, used his position to maneuver on certain items of the accounts of Día España before the progressive worsening of the group’s results and the fall of the share as of 2015.

«He was the only person who had a global and overall vision, although, given the leading position of the DIA España, SA group, it was in this position where he mainly and directly exercised his functions, receiving the closings directly from the accounting department , after which, he analyzed them and, depending on what he needed to achieve better results, he gave orders to modify the figures of ancillary income and regularization of tickets, as these are the largest magnitudes on which it was possible to act without raising suspicions “, explains the judge.

An alteration of 57.2 million euros

Specifically, it would have issued orders for the computation of magnitudes “that did not respect the accounting regulations, nor the reality of the business, but allowed to improve results, both in 2016 and in 2017, as those of 2017 were especially lower than expectations. , given the price drops that the group was forced to make in Spain to relaunch sales.

As the instructor details, these practices include the forecast of unjustified income from negotiating with suppliers for an amount of 6.3 million euros, the incorrect accounting of revenue from private label supplier charges up to € 21.7 million, 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 the staff for a value of 5.5 million.

He attributes to Currás the order that such provisions should not be made in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years so that on paper, the results of the company would not be reduced, a maneuver that he could 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 ».

A snowball

In this sense, it states that when it imposed a forecast of unjustified income from negotiation with suppliers, the now prosecuted Juan Cubillo and Luís Martínez, «They raided to follow the indications of Ricardo Currás, despite being aware of the implications that this had “and” despite being senior management personnel and having the capacity to report both to the Audit and Compliance Committee, as well as to the Board itself “.

The main consequence of these accounting tricks is that the amounts were dragged from one year to another, allowing the results of each year to be improved with a view to future income “generating an accumulated ever greater, hoping that the results will improve again for their own activity they were being compensated without anyone noticing it ».

In the end, when approving the annual accounts for the year 2018, the annual accounts for the previous year had to be restated, “although the truth is that it affected both those of 2016 and those of 2017”. The balance sheet magnitudes were modified, exceeding “the materiality that had been established by the external auditor in his audit reports and that, if detected, would have involved an unfavorable audit report ”.

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