The National Court has expanded the open investigation against Francisco González, former president of BBVA, within the framework of the Villarejo case. Judge Manuel García-Castellón has charged, at the request of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, a new crime of unfair administration to the former head of the financial institution, investigated since 2019 for bribery and disclosure of secrets for hiring the commissioner José Manuel Villarejo for alleged tasks of espionage against political and business rivals. According to an order issued this Tuesday – in which Pablo García Tobin, communication director of the bank, is also cited to testify as a defendant for alleged cover-up – González allegedly used “resources [del BBVA] for your personal use only ”. “Specifically, to assess the acquisition of a private property,” he details.
The investigating magistrate thus breathes new life into the investigation after the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office presented a harsh letter at the beginning of the month in which it pointed out the “highest levels” of BBVA for the irregularities Villarejo case. The public prosecutor accused the current management of the bank of not cooperating in the investigations: “[La entidad] affirms its willingness to collaborate that (…) is, if not totally uncertain, but biased and interested, ”prosecutors Miguel Serrano and Alejandro Cabaleiro reproached him, who insisted that he enter the documentation provided by BBVA, also accused as a person legal, missing files and metadata necessary to “perform traceability”, which prevents knowing which people were authorized to access them or if there was a deletion of any.
“[Es] it is simply inconceivable that an entity like BBVA appeals to the loss of documents that, without any doubt, should be in its possession, both physically and electronically, “Anticorrupción pointed out in its letter, dated July 8 and where it already indicated that the instruction has revealed that González used “resources for his exclusively personal use.” The report forensic prepared by PwC for the entity revealed the existence of a series of orders from the bank to Investigate the owners of various estates – in El Escorial (Madrid) and in Mallorca – in which the then president would be personally interested. Faced with such a situation, García-Castellón has accused the crime of unfair administration and has offered the former banker the possibility of declaring for these facts.
Alleged cover-up maneuvers
Investigators suspect that BBVA has not provided all the sensitive material in its possession. “What was contributed does not respond to what was said was going to be contributed,” writes the judge. And, for this reason, it considers it essential to cite Pablo García Tobin, current Director of Communication, as the accused, who is attributed an alleged crime of concealment. According to the instruction, Tobin set up a Google Drive folder to “collect the information” that may exist in the entity about the contracts with Cenyt, the Villarejo business group. Furthermore, the Director of Communication “would be the authorizer of the people with access to said files.” But, according to the Prosecutor’s Office and the judge, these files and metadata do not appear in the case.
This Tuesday’s letter from García-Castellón, in line with Anti-Corruption, recalls that BBVA hired the commissioner since 2004, through the bank’s security officer, Julio Corrochano, a police officer on leave of absence. In fact, according to the magistrate to point to the leadership of the financial institution, the recordings intervened in the records “show” that Corrochano “dealt with these issues with The boss“:” Being the only person who can respond to this, the former president of the entity Francisco González. ” “The foregoing places the irregularities in the highest instances of the bank’s executives, executives who, on the other hand, remain at present and are those who direct the procedural position of collaboration of the entity,” emphasizes the investigating judge, who already accumulates a score of defendants in this line of investigation.
Judge García-Castellón investigates in separate piece number 9 of the Tandem case, the macrosummary opened to investigate the allegedly illegal activities of Villarejo, the work carried out by the commissioner for BBVA between 2004 and 2017. The investigations have revealed, so far, a total of 18 orders, some without a written contract, for which the commissioner pocketed a total of 10.3 million euros. In this piece, 19 people are charged, including Villarejo himself, former president Francisco González and other directors of the entity, as well as BBVA as a legal entity. Among the victims of these illegal espionage are journalists, businessmen and politicians.