Santander's Botín in the clear as fraud case shelved

4th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 December 2007, MADRID - The Spanish Supreme Court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling dismissing charges brought against Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botín and other top officials in the bank of helping clients evade taxes and of falsifying documents.

4 December 2007

MADRID - The Spanish Supreme Court yesterday upheld an earlier ruling dismissing charges brought against Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botín and other top officials in the bank of helping clients evade taxes and of falsifying documents.

The High Court in December of last year had decided to shelve the case, which followed allegations lodged by the ADIC investor protection group in connection with loans sold by Banco Santander to well-heeled clients between 1987 and 1991. Spanish law allows for criminal complaints to be brought by individuals regardless of whether they are directly or indirectly affected.

ADIC and the leftist-green Catalan party IC appealed the decision by the High Court. However, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.

The latest ruling puts a seal on the case, which also involved Santander director Rodrigo Echenique and former directors José Ignacio Uclés and Ricardo Alonso Clavel, as well as 28 clients of Spain's leading bank.

The accusation had sought combined jail terms for Botín and the other Banco Santander officials of 180 years. The private accusation alleged Santander did not levy a withholding tax on the profits from the loans it sold to its clients. It claimed Santander carried out some 45,000 such operations in the period.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Adrián Soto 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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