The medical material intermediaries, who took 5.6 million in the middle of the pandemic, appear before the judge this Monday with the intention of clarifying that there was no deception
The alleged deception that led to the scam and the documentary falsehood that opened the door to money laundering will be the elements that focus this Monday the statements of the commission agents Luis Medina and Alberto Luceño before the judge. Those sued by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for the collection of some 5.6 million euros for their mediation in the alleged irregular sale of masks, gloves and diagnostic tests to the Madrid City Council in April 2020, shortly after the pandemic broke out, will have the first time the opportunity to explain his version to the head of the Court of Instruction number 47 of Madrid, Adolfo Carretero.
The magistrate investigates the alleged commission of crimes of aggravated fraud, documentary fraud and money laundering, and in the case of Medina also the seizure of assets. Some events that the judge perceives as “serious” as they take place “at the height of the health crisis”, when there were “thousands of deaths daily”. The accusation of the prosecutor Luis Rodríguez Sol focuses on the fact that both commission agents, with the aim of obtaining “an exaggerated and unjustified economic benefit” -they received commissions of between 60 and 80% of the value of the products-, offered the council the possibility of acquire “large consignments of medical supplies made in China”.
The son of Naty Abascal and the late Duke of Feria obtained a commission of one million euros as an intermediary, which he used to purchase a sailboat for 325,515 euros and two investment bonds each worth 200,000 euros. The summary also revealed that days after receiving the transfers from the Malaysian company Leno, he transferred the money to an account in the Netherlands, leaving one of his deposits practically empty and another in the red.
In the complaint, the prosecutor requested the seizure of the sailboat and the bank accounts. And when verifying that he had less than 250 euros, the judge proceeded to set a bail of 981,000 euros at the request of Anticorruption, in which case of non-payment that amount of the hereditary rights will be seized in relation to the inheritance of his grandmother, the Duchess of Medinaceli. An issue in any case that is also settled in court.
Contact with Martínez-Almeida
Medina’s role in the sale-purchase operation was that of facilitator, as he himself stated during his statement before the prosecutor. He was the person who contacted the council, taking advantage of his status as a public figure and “his friendship with a relative of the mayor of Madrid,” according to the complaint. To this end, the name of Elena Collado, general coordinator of Budgets and Human Resources of the Treasury and Personnel Government Area of the Madrid City Council, was given to her (she is summoned to testify on May 9 as a witness).
In his statement to the prosecutor, Luis Medina stated that the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, “called or wrote to thank him” for the donation of 283,000 masks in the worst moments of the pandemic, stating that “no has no relationship” with him.
Already within the framework of the investigation, the investigated complained in a brief presented by his lawyer Carlos Texidor that the judge accepted the presence of the Madrid City Council in the case as the injured party, as well as the municipal funeral home company, by agreeing in both cases with the investigated contracts.
On the other hand, Alberto Luceño is being investigated for being the person in charge of the negotiations with the official Collado, to whom he presented himself as an “expert in importing products from the Asian market, with factories in China at his disposal, and as the exclusive agent of the Malaysian company EEE, through which the importation was to take place’.
“In reality, he neither had significant experience in import business nor did he have factories in China, in the same way that he was not the exclusive agent of any Malaysian company nor was he acting out of any altruistic intention,” according to the Prosecutor’s Office, which contextualizes in this deception the Crime of fraud.
Family expenses and taxes
According to the investigations, Luceño received a total of 4.6 million euros as commissions through transfers sent from Malaysia to a personal account. With this money, the businessman paid for a stay in a hotel in Marbella at a cost of 60,000 euros; three Rolex watches; twelve luxury vehicles for sale or rent and a home in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid).
Regarding the investigated, the judge has already proceeded to block three bank accounts and cards worth almost 130,000 euros, as well as the seizure of the luxury home he acquired.
The commission agent acknowledged before the prosecutor that he acquires luxury cars as a form of “investment” to sell them later. Last Friday, in a kind of acquittal letter, Luceño justified that if the judge has not been able to seize the money he asked for, it is not because he has hidden it, but because there was never such an amount. The reason, he explained, is the payment of taxes for the acquisition of luxury goods, about 700,000 euros, and because his funds have been declining given the “family and business day-to-day expenses” of the last two years.
According to his lawyer, “the sum of business and family expenses during this entire period of time, plus the amounts seized, taxes paid, etc., makes it clear that there have been no illicit outflows of assets.” All these extremes must be clarified this Monday before the judge.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.