CORRUPTION

Ex-Sevilla soccer club president begins serving his seven-year sentence for fraud

José María del Nido vows to emerge from prison stronger than ever

José María del Nido in the news conference in which he presented his resignation as Sevilla president.
José María del Nido in the news conference in which he presented his resignation as Sevilla president.reuters

Former Sevilla soccer club president José María del Nido entered prison on Wednesday morning to begin serving his seven-year sentence for fraud-related convictions that stem from overcharging the Marbella city government for services that were never performed.

Del Nido voluntarily surrendered to authorities at Sevilla 1 jail at 8.45am. Last year the Supreme Court upheld his convictions but reduced his sentence by six months from the seven-and-a-half years imposed by a Málaga provincial court in 2011.

A lawyer, Del Nido was convicted along with former Marbella Mayor Julián Muñoz in a conspiracy to divert public funds through a series of overcharges.

Del Nido arrives at the prison where he will serve his sentence on Wednesday.
Del Nido arrives at the prison where he will serve his sentence on Wednesday.cuatro

In its sentence, the Málaga court identified 79 invoices and four payments amounting to 2.86 million euros between 1999 and 2003. Last December, Del Nido stepped down as chief of Sevilla soccer club, where he had been president since 2002. Muñoz is serving time in jail for his role in Operation Malaya, the massive public fraud conspiracy in Marbella involving kickbacks in exchange for building and property permits.

After his convictions, Del Nido embarked on a public campaign asking for sympathy and signatures to support a government pardon.

Last Monday, he left a message on a social network in which he announced his imminent surrender to prison authorities. He also condemned unidentified individuals who had betrayed him, and pledged to emerge from jail stronger than ever.

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