Saturday, December 4

On trial the sale of 1,860 social housing in Madrid to an investment fund in the mandate of Ana Botella

The former mayor of Madrid Ana Botella.

Fermín Oslé Uranga, former CEO of the Municipal Housing and Land Company (EMVS) of Madrid, and Alfonso Benavides Grases, former attorney-in-fact of Fidere Vivienda -the fund’s real estate investment company Blackstone-, will sit next Tuesday in the dock for the alleged fraudulent sale of 1,860 homes to an investment fund in 2013 under the mandate of Ana Botella.

The case initiated as a result of a complaint from the PSOE and affected it was filed when the examining magistrate number 38 of Madrid considered that there were not “enough elements” to continue the investigation. But in May 2019 the Provincial Court of Madrid ordered its reopening at the request of the Association of People Affected by the Sale of Homes of the EMVS, which in the trial acts as a private accusation.

The Madrid Prosecutor’s Office does not impute any crime to the two defendants and requests in its letter, to which Europa Press had access, the acquittal considering that they have not committed any criminal offense.

On the other hand, the association of those affected requests eight years in prison for the defendants for fraud and embezzlement of public causes, as well as eight years of disqualification from exercising as a public office, as a spokeswoman for the group has detailed to Europa Press. The company Fidere is listed as a subsidiary civil liability.

The criminal investigation was instructed for crimes of administrative prevarication, embezzlement of public funds and fraud regarding the participation in the irregular sale by Fermín Oslé Uranga and Alfonso Benavides Grases.

In addition to the judicial sphere, the case had an administrative aspect on the part of the Court of Accounts. In September 2017, an audit report prepared by the Chamber of Accounts of the Community of Madrid was made public, which focused on the years 2012 and 2013, under a mandate from the PP.

The report noted that the sale took place without previously fixing the value of the properties to be disposed of since the closest thing to this is an estimate made by an entity, which also turned out to be an advisor to the successful bidders.

To this was added that there was no real concurrence of eventual buyers given the privileged information that four companies had prior to the sale agreement, including the winning bidder Magic Real State, which later transferred its rights to the Fidere companies.

Ana Botella, exonerated

Ana Botella was exonerated from the case after the Court of Accounts revoked a conviction and acquit the former mayor and seven members of her team. The revoked sentence condemned the defendants to pay jointly and severally from their pockets 22.7 million euros.

Already in the criminal sphere, the Prosecutor’s Office underlines in its brief that “the procedure at all times was adjusted to the established prescriptions in article 85 ter of Law 7/1985, of April 2, Regulating the Bases of Local Regime and article 18 of Decree 74/09, Regulation of Housing with Public Protection of the Community of Madrid “.

In his opinion, this “allowed the sale by their owners of housing with public protection for leasing and leasing with the option to purchase for complete promotions and free price, with prior authorization from the Ministry responsible for housing.”

Therefore, understand that followed “at all times the principles established in Article 1 of the Public Sector Contract Law, of complementary application to resolve gaps in those contracts excluded from the Law, among which were those for the sale of real estate “.

As for the EMVS, it points out that “as a result of the operation, the fiscal year of 2013 yielded a positive result in all its items, increasing net worth and equity and reducing liabilities, in accordance with the provisions of the Viability Plan. and complying with the obligations of budgetary stability and financial sustainability “.

Denunciation of the Socialists

The proceedings were initiated as a result of a complaint filed by the PSOE lawyer on behalf of the then municipal spokesman Jaime Lissavetzky, as well as the Association of Affected and Affected by the sale of homes of the EMVS against Fermín Oslé and Alfonso Benavides, the attorney of the firm Fidere.

The plaintiffs insinuated that the procedure that was the subject of the case “was not correct” because there were, among other things, “other alternatives, other possibilities that would produce something like less damage to the city of Madrid.”

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