Investigators make three arrests and as many searches in Murcia through the network that would have cheated 50 million with front men
José Luis Moreno was arrested early Tuesday for alleged crimes of fraud and money laundering in the framework of ‘Operation Titella’ (Puppet in Catalan). The television producer would be one of the leaders of an international macro-organization with more than 700 companies that would have swindled more than 50 million euros. The investigations are directed by the head of the Central Court of Instruction number two of the National Court, Ismael Moreno. From eight o’clock in the morning yesterday, different simultaneous registers were launched, mainly focused on the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, but also on other towns in Maresme, Castelldefels and Murcia.
In the Region, the National Police carried out several searches yesterday -three, according to sources close to the investigation-, focused on urbanizations of Molina de Segura, such as Altorreal- and it was planned to make three arrests of those involved. Among them was the alleged leader of the plot in this geographical area, who was nevertheless traveling in Madrid and who was located and detained in the capital of Spain.
In the operation, headed by the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of Madrid and by the Civil Guard of Barcelona, 53 suspects were arrested yesterday, including bank directors, lawyers and notaries. In fact, the organization would have its own notary on the payroll. The searches focused on the search for cash and documentation to unravel the complex network from which funds from drug trafficking would have been laundered. For this, specialized money detection dogs were used.
The investigations started from the complaint of a bank in 2018, after the amount of a loan had not been returned. In recent months, wiretapping would have endorsed the key role of the creator of hits such as’ Here is no one who lives’ and ‘La que se avecina.
A bank in Malta
The ‘modus operandi’ began, precisely, with the request for loans, mostly from banks but also private and, in recent times, for ICO lines. The producer was the familiar face that served as collateral in the negotiations. The funds, which were granted to some companies, were transferred to other instrumental companies, leaving the former in a situation of insolvency. Once the holders were decapitalized, the credits were never returned and the money disappeared in a corporate network with branches in Switzerland, Panama or the Maldives. The latest movements appear to indicate that they were working to create a bank in Malta.
According to experts in economic crimes from the Civil Guard and the National Police, part of that stolen money was later granted in turn in the form of very high-interest loans, a formula that was used to legally circulate funds from the drug traffic.
José Luis Moreno, once arrested, spent all day yesterday in his Madrid mansion in the Monte de las Encinas urbanization, in Boadilla del Monte, accompanying the agents who proceeded to the meticulous search of the premises of the farm, which has 5,000 square meters of plot. The headquarters of his production company in Moraleja de Enmedio was also evicted early in the morning. A whole deployment of police means for a two-year investigation, which was precipitated after the arrest of a person who was found 1.3 million euros in the double bottom of a vehicle. In this time, agents have intercepted hundreds of wiretaps.
Peppered with controversy
The career of the creator of ‘Noche de Fiesta’ has been punctuated by controversy on numerous occasions. From actors and actresses who have denounced having been working without a contract, to employees of their production company who demanded the payment of their payroll. In addition, he has been involved in alleged criminal schemes. In 2011, he was called to testify as a defendant in the Palma Arena case for the alleged collection of commissions, although the case was closed due to lack of evidence. His name also appeared in the ‘Bárcenas papers’ when the PP ex-treasurer accused him of having delivered sums of money to box B of the party’s accounting during Gürtel’s trial.
The numerous incidents he has suffered are also striking: the burning of his studios in 2014 and the robberies reported at his home in 1999, 2007 and 2016. Especially spectacular was the attack in 2007 when the producer was attacked by a gang of Kosovar Albanians.