Thursday, May 26

A Palma court condemns two Ruiz-Mateos brothers for tax fraud in the purchase of a hotel in Mallorca

Pablo Ruiz-Mateos, in a file image.

Pablo Ruiz-Mateos, in a file image.

The Criminal Court number 4 of Palma has sentenced the brothers Pablo and Álvaro Ruiz-Mateos yet year and eleven months in prison each and the payment of a fine of 2 million euros as perpetrators of an aggravated crime against the Public Treasury, in relation to the purchase of a hotel in Peguera (Mallorca).

In terms of civil liability, convicted persons must compensate the Balearic Tax Agency (Atib) with 1.9 million euros, which corresponds to the amount of the fee defrauded, according to the sentence.

The resolution concludes that two of the six children of businessman José María Ruiz-Mateos are responsible for a tax crime committed in December 2008 by not paying the property transfer tax in the acquisition of the Hotel Beverly from Peguera with his father.

Neither the company that formally bought the hotel, nor the defendants paid the corresponding tax, and “they did not even present the declaration-liquidation for exempt operation”, details.

For the judge, the authorship of Álvaro and Pablo Ruiz-Mateos is “clear” due to the necessary cooperation in this fiscal fraud since, although formally the taxpayer was Wersdale Trade Spain, according to the tests carried out, “both participated in the previous negotiations of the sales and controlled them”.

The sentence adds that the two brothers used a Group company based in Belize as a shell company and a front man, and that they endorsed the operation and were present at the notary’s office with the “sole” purpose of making sure that the operation was signed.

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The judge acknowledges that perhaps “they weren’t the only brains in the plot “ and that they surely had the help of their advisers, but maintains that the two condemned “had knowledge of the contracts signed by the figurehead designated by them.”

“They knew that a shell company was used, devoid of any activity, controlled by them. They knew and were aware that they were participating in an artifice devised and executed, solely and exclusively, for the benefit of their own Group (Nueva Rumasa) and to obtain money. to finance their companies “and act” to the detriment “of the Treasury of the Balearic Islands, says the magistrate.

He adds that the two brothers, who have experience as entrepreneurs, were “well aware at all times” of the fraud they were carrying out against the Public Treasury.

The sentence toSolve the other four defendants, the brothers Zoilo, José María (son), Alfonso and Francisco Javier Ruiz-Mateos. The judge maintains that, although there is evidence of the executive role, control and contribution of these to the group’s progress, it is “insufficient” to attribute the tax offense to them by not appreciating a direct implication of them in the design and planning or execution material of the sales.

It indicates that the four had a general knowledge of the operation since they endorsed the purchase but “there is no proof that they knew the details of it, nor the way or form in which it was going to be carried out.”

“It is not sufficiently proven that they contributed to the fraud strategy. None of the witnesses linked them, they were not present at the notary’s office,” the resolution maintains.

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In addition to the prison sentences, payment of the fine and compensation to the Balearic Tax Agency, Pablo and Álvaro Ruiz-Mateos have been sentenced to the loss of the possibility of obtaining public aid and of the right to enjoy benefits or tax incentives or Social Security for a period of two years and six months and to pay the costs in half.

The sentence is not final and there is an appeal to the Palma Court within a period of ten days from its notification.

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