Carlos Fabra, a veteran member of the Popular Party (PP) who has fought off numerous corruption probes over the years, walked into a Madrid penitentiary on Monday to serve a four-year sentence for tax crimes.
Eleven years after the Fabra case broke, the once-powerful head of Castellón province and regional powerbroker had no choice but to abide by a court sentence handed down a year ago, which found him guilty on four counts of fraud worth nearly €700,000.
Fabra was unable to satisfactorily explain the origin of €3.3 million that showed up in his and his ex-wife’s bank accounts. The way the couple operated has been described by a Tax Agency expert as “the first case study on the detection of undeclared money ever included in textbooks.”
Fabra’s request for a government pardon was rejected
The case began when a businessman accused Fabra of charging him hefty fees in exchange for political favors. While the provincial court did not find substantial evidence of bribery or influence-peddling, the investigation unearthed the tax fraud committed by the politician.
Fabra had requested a government pardon, which was rejected. He also lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Court, which has yet to rule on his case, but this did not extend the deadline for his prison admission.
The old-school politician, once a powerful party boss who boasted about doing as he pleased in his province, was also behind the infamous Castellón airport, which never saw a single airplane land or take off from its runways and became an international symbol for the thoughtless spending that took place during Spain’s property boom years.
In July 2012, his daughter Andrea Fabra, a PP deputy, drew widespread ire because of a sudden outburst in which she yelled out “¡Que se jodan!” (“Screw them!”) during a congressional debate on unemployment.