High Court Judge Pablo Ruz has named several former directors of the failed Spanish savings bank Caja Castilla La Mancha (CCM) as suspects in an investigation into banking operations they approved that caused a huge hole in the lender’s books and sparked its intervention by the Bank of Spain.
In a writ made public on Tuesday, the judge order the seven in question to appear before him on November 20 and 21 to account for some 20 loans granted by the bank that allegedly undermined the lender’s financial health in what could constitute criminal mismanagement. The former chairman of the bank, Juan Pedro Hernández Moltó, already faces charges of criminal mismanagement, fraud and false accounting.
Judge Ruz argued that the directors took part in “collegiate decisions taken on various economic operations [...] that could have resulted in the ultimate deterioration of the financial health of bank of which they managed.”
Those named are Federico Andrés Rodríguez Morata, Tomás Martín-Peñato Alonso, Florencio Hernández Gutiérrez, José María Fresneda Fresneda, Emilio Sanz Sánchez, Carlos Jiménez Morante and the latter’s secretary, José Fernando Sánchez Bódalo.
The loans were granted in 2007 and 2008 to the companies Luis Portillo-Inmobiliaria Colonial, Naropa-Fermoselle, T-Solar Global, Renovalia, Lábaro Whitness Investment Group, Residencial Picón, Sersan Integral and Simcar Proyectos. Central bank experts have argued that the loans were “contrary to banking and mercantile regulations.”
CCM was taken over by the Bank of Spain in 2009 after the central bank found a hole in its books estimated at 267 million euros, thus becoming the first bank to be intervened in the current banking crisis sparked by lenders’ overexposure to the ailing real estate sector. After an injection of taxpayers’ money, CCM was eventually sold to Cajastur through a public auction. Cajastur in turn now forms part of the Liberbank group following extensive consolidation of the country’s savings banks instigated by the Bank of Spain.