Palma de MallorcaUpdated:
The Supreme Court has issued a ruling in which condemns six children of businessman José María Ruiz-Mateos to a penalty of two and a half years in prison for a crime of aggravated fraud. As has transpired on Wednesday, the High Court has partially upheld the appeal filed by Alvaro, Jose Maria, Zoilo, Francisco Javier, Alfonso and Pablo against thehentendance of the Provincial Court of Palma issued in July of last year, which condemned them to an average of six years in prison for a crime of aggravated fraud and another for the raising of property.
It should be remembered that the six brothers were tried in May of last year for a alleged fraud in the sale of two hotels, the Beverly Playa in Mallorca and the Beverly Park in Gran Canaria. This operation was carried out in December 2008. During the investigation phase, the patriarch of the family, who would have died in September 2015, had also been charged in this process.
The Supreme Court has now considered in its ruling that the six brothers they did not commit the crime of raising propertythat had been attributed to them in the original decision of the Provincial Court. In addition, the Chamber has understood that for the crime of fraud, which has been confirmed, the aggravating circumstance of having been committed with abuse of the personal relationships existing between the victim and the fraudster has not occurred.
The High Court has not modified the rest of the decisions of the Provincial Court, which also sentenced the six defendants, as civil liability, to indemnify jointly and severally affected 16 with a global amount that was around 46 million euros. The ruling of the Supreme Court has also set the payment of a fine of 24,000 euros from each of the six brothers, as well as the special disqualification for the exercise of the right of passive suffrage, for the exercise of mercantile activities and for the administration of companies during the time of the sentence.
A complex case
During the trial held at the Provincial Court in May 2017, the brothers' defense lawyer, Juan Manuel García-Gallardo, requested the free acquittal of his clients, considering that they had not committed any crime. The lawyer attributed to the economic crisis the fact that the agreed payments had not been finally made effective. García-Gallardo denied, in addition, that he could have some kind of deception in the sale of the two hotels. He also reiterated that it would have been José María Ruiz-Mateos who promoted the aforementioned operation, which therefore could not be held criminally responsible for their children.
For its part, the anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Carrau initially requested seven years in prison for each of the six defendants. Carrau attributed to them the crimes of aggravated fraud and punishable insolvency, as employees of Nueva Rumasa. According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, the defendants allegedly presented "a solvency that does not really exist" so that the different shareholders of Beverly Playa and Beverly Park sold them their respective shares. In the specific case of the family that filed the initial complaint in this case, ten years ago he agreed to sell his shares to the Ruiz-Mateos for almost 11.7 million euros.
As noted, it was in December 2008 when they were formalized two public deeds of sale, one signed with said family and another signed with the rest of the owners of Beverly Playa and Beverly Park. The total agreed price amounted to 75.8 million euros, a result of adding the 11.7 million euros already mentioned and the 64.1 million agreed with the rest of the shareholders.