Ex-Betis soccer boss accused of siphoning off club's capital

25th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

The former president of soccer club Real Betis, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, has been accused by public prosecutors of abusing his position and siphoning off the club's capital.

25 March 2008

SEVILLE - The former president of soccer club Real Betis, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, has been accused by public prosecutors of abusing his position and siphoning off the club's capital.

According to prosecutors, Lopera tapped club funds using his business Encadesa, a company that had been given exclusive rights to administer the income generated by Real Betis, of which Lopera is the leading shareholder.

The prosecutors' statement went on to say that Lopera had "abused his position" and had "prejudiced the interests of the club." It described Encadesa's accounts as "lacking transparency."

According to the statement, Betis' accounts show losses of more than EUR 11 million, with more than EUR 8 million owed to the tax office.

If found guilty, Lopera could face up to four years behind bars as well as a heavy fine. Lopera was sentenced to two prison terms of seven and a half months each in 2006 for two separate financial offences.

[Copyright El Pais 2008]

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