The trial has started and the prosecution case finalised against the Portimão Councillor who swallowed the evidence rather than allow police investigators to know the names and amounts written on a sheet of paper.
The former mayor of the city, Luís Carito, used a bizarre plan to create a Portuguese Hollywood to enrich himself and colleagues while watching the Council run up debts of €180 million on this and other failed projects.
Carito and three businessmen now are on trial for money laundering, qualified fraud and economic participation in business. The list of defendants includes six companies that provided services to two municipal companies, Portimão Turis and Portimão Urbis.
This dream world was created by Carito about a decade ago – the grand plan for a Portuguese Hollywood – the only thing magical was that anyone believed him.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Carito’s was a “fraudulent scheme” involving service providers to the two municipal companies.
The “scheme”, developed between 2009 and 2013, was supported by an “intricate web of banking movements,” with Carito as the main beneficiary who, at the time, was responsible for finance and tourism at the Council.
The Council’s financial situation worsened and then went into meltdown in 2013 – a year in which Council debt rose by €29.8 million.
When the Police went to Carito’s house, on July 19 2013, they found an A4 document in his office which had written on it, a list of names and amounts.
Luís Carito snatched the document from an officer’s hand and ate the evidence.
Another defendant, Artur Curado, was lauded by Portimão Council as a cinema expert who was contracted to travel through Europe and the US to publicise the “city of cinema” project.
According to the prosecution, “Curado played a prominent role in the enrichment of Luís Carito from payments, directly or indirectly, made by Portimão Turis / Urbis.”
Cuarado drew in excess of €1 million, “of which €418.810 was withdrawn in cash in amounts that coincided with deposits made into Carito’s accounts.”
In addition to Luís Carito and Artur Curato, the main beneficiaries of the ‘cinema world’ scam, Luís Marreiros and Carlos Barros also are on trial, plus six companies.
Portimão Council has filed a claim for damages of about €700,000 related to its losses.
In October 2014, Isilda Gomes, succeeded mayor Manuel da Luz who had left the Council saddled with debts of €147 million.
1. Portimão former councillors face trial for fraud and money laundering (News) After a five year wait, Luís Carito, the former Portimão deputy mayor (pictured), the man who swallowed evidence when his Ferragudo home was searched by Police in 2013, is to face trial this coming January. …Created on 11 November 2018
2. Portimão former councillors face five years in prison (News) … t management claimed to have recruited the actor Joaquim de Almeida as one of the media faces to promote the project. Back then Luís Carito, the president of Portimão Turis, later integrated into Po …Created on 05 February 2017
3. Portimão corruption investigation spreads to football stadium (News) The former vice-mayor of Portimão council, Luís Carito, has regularly to present himself at the local police station from now on, after nearly 6 months of wearing an electronic ankle bracelet. Luís Carito …Created on 27 January 2014
4. Portimão councillor arrests, what’s it all about? (Autodrome) … uited the actor Joaquim de Almeida as one of the media faces to promote the project. Back then Luís Carito, the president of Portimão Turis, later integrated into Portimão Urbis, revealed that of the i …Created on 21 June 2013