A Madrid court is getting ready to summons a young man known popularly as ‘Little Nicolás’ and charge him with impersonation of a public officer, document forgery and bribery.
EL PAÍS has learned that Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias, a young socialite who made headlines in 2014 after allegedly passing himself off as a secret service agent and government advisor, is being formally investigated on three counts of criminal activity.
One line of investigation involves a trip he made to Ribadeo (Lugo) in August 2014 posing as an envoy from the Royal Palace.
A search of Gómez Iglesias’ bank accounts yielded several suspect payments, including a deposit of €100,000 whose origin is unknown
The probe is progressing slowly due to “lack of cooperation” from National Police officials, according to court papers.
Gómez Iglesias and two municipal police officers will have to tell the judge about the Ribadeo trip, which resulted in a meeting between the young man and a businessman named Jorge Cosmen, of the ALSA transportation group.
Court documents show that Little Nicolás phoned a local restaurant, pretending to be a spokesman for the Spanish royal family, and booked several tables after assuring the owner that the king was going to come in person.
He then called the mayor and told him the same story, asking for roads to be cut off to traffic and space made for the monarch’s security detail.
The young man ultimately showed up all by himself with a retinue of three luxury cars and a few municipal police officers in tow. The latter are being investigated for allegedly accepting bribes to play along. Little Nicolás could face up to four years in prison if found guilty of bribing law enforcement officers.
Gómez Iglesias was arrested in October 2014 following a complaint from the deputy prime minister’s office, which had learned that he was posing as a worker of theirs.
A search of his home produced numerous forged documents with stamps from the royal household, government departments and the National Intelligence Center, Spain’s secret service.
The suspect allegedly used this material to pose as an influential figure with high-placed contacts in the ruling Popular Party. In one case, he is believed to have concocted a scheme to fleece a businessman out of €25,000 by promising to help him sell a valuable property in exchange for a fee.
Investigators also pored over Gómez Iglesias’ bank accounts and uncovered several suspect payments, including a deposit of €100,000, the origin of which is unknown.
Little Nicolás comes from a middle-class family in Madrid’s northern Chamartín district, where he joined the PP’s youth wing when he was 15. He soon began to be seen with senior figures in exclusive spots, including the VIP box at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium. He also managed to make it into King Felipe’s coronation, and was famously photographed shaking the hand of the monarch.
“He was always bragging about his contacts; he saw himself as a high-flyer, but a few months ago we began to hear rumors that he was getting into trouble,” said a PP source.
English version by Susana Urra.