The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has requested a six-year prison sentence for the businessman Jose Maria Sayago and two years for the former director of Labor Daniel Alberto Rivera, in relation to the aid of 34,264,273 euros granted to the so-called “tandem” of the Sierra Norte, made up of businessmen Jose Enrique Rosendo – who died in 2016 – and Sayago himself, while requesting another five years in prison as embezzlement cooperators from businessmen Eduardo Lora, Manuel Valdecantos and Manuel Robles.
The reinforcement judge Jose Ignacio Vilaplana has issued an order in which he agrees to open an oral trial against the former director general of Labor and Social Security of the Junta de Andalucia Daniel Alberto Rivera and four other people investigated in this relevant separate piece of the case ERE, in which alleged irregularities have been investigated in the aid granted by the Autonomous Administration for a total amount of 34,264,273 euros to the “business network” based in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla.
In an order dated May 10, the magistrate opens an oral trial against the former high-ranking official of the Board and three others investigated for crimes of administrative prevarication and embezzlement of public funds, while against the fifth of those investigated, he agrees to open oral trial for crimes of prevarication, embezzlement and, alternatively, crimes of fraud or misappropriation.
The judge requires the defendants so that, within a day, each of them provide different bail – which ranges between the 75,500 euros that he sets for Daniel Alberto Riveraand the 18.2 million that it establishes for Sayago- to ensure the pecuniary responsibilities that could be imposed, with the warning that, if they do not lend them, assets will be seized in sufficient quantity to ensure the amount imposed.
Likewise, Vilaplana agrees to open an oral trial against a total of 17 entities as subsidiary civil liability, who also requires the payment of bonds ranging between 300,000 euros and 6,414,566.16 euros.
In its indictment, the Public Ministry requests for the former director of Labor of the Board two years in prison and six years of special disqualification for employmentand public charge for a crime of prevarication in medial contest with a crime of embezzlement, while, for these same crimes, he asks for three other defendants five years in prison and twelve years of absolute disqualification, and for Sayago six years in prison and fifteen years of absolute disqualification.
The Board exculpates Rivera
In terms of civil liability, he claims that they indemnify the Board in different amounts. The accusation carried out by the Board does not exercise a claim for conviction against the former high-ranking official of the Boardinvestigated in this separate piece and requests for two of the defendants five years in prison and six years of absolute disqualification for a continued crime of embezzlement, and seven years of special disqualification for employment or public office for a continued crime of prevarication.
Likewise, the Board requests for the other two defendants three years and six months of special disqualification from employment or public office for the crime of prevarication, and three years in prison and five years of absolute disqualification for the crime of embezzlement, as well as that the four investigated compensate the Autonomous Administration itself with different amounts.
The judge, in the order, argues that it is appropriate to order the opening of an oral trial against the former General Director of Labor Daniel Alberto Rivera, since there is“sufficient and reliable” evidence that “if he had intervention – and, therefore, could be involved and responsible – in the criminal acts for which he is proceeding, ordering and disposing -arbitrarily and unfairly- of the public funds constituting the unlawful payment of part of the aid object of the proceedings (in this case, granted in favor of Explotaciones Agricolas Sanluquenas SA)”.
Thus, it shows that, “although it is true that the Junta de Andalucia does not claim a conviction against Daniel Alberto Rivera and , therefore, does not claim compensation for compensation against said defendant, it is true that the JuntaIn this case , it has not waived compensation for the damages that may correspond to it, nor has it reserved civil actions in relation to the criminal acts that are the object of this abbreviated procedure.”
For this reason, the magistrate considers that “nothing prevents the Public Prosecutor from directing alone – the popular accusation lacks legitimacy to request this compensation on behalf of the injured party – the corresponding claim for compensation directed against each and every one -including Rivera- of the alleged criminal and civil perpetrators against whom the opening of oral proceedings is decreed.
Aid worth 34 million euros
In the order where he agreed to prosecute the five investigated, issued on November 23, 2020, the magistrate explained that the purpose of these actions is “the alleged illegality of the aid and subsidies granted outside the walls of legality” by the Directorate General of Labor of the Ministry of Employment of the Junta de Andalucia, and paid by the IFA/IDEA agency, in favor of different companies and entities linked to one of those investigated and a second person who died in January 2016 for a total approximate amount of €34.2 million.
In this sense, the instructor specifies that the “tandem” made up of both businessmen “would have constituted various interrelated companies and companies, many” of which “lacked activity and workers, and whose purpose was to receive subsidies and aid from the Board to, subsequently, carry out the transfer of funds to different companies of the same network, thus making it possible, through this number of interposed companies, that the group controlled by both investigated received fractionally and coordinated way, in collusion with those responsible for the Board, multiple subsidies, avoiding in many cases with the amounts of aid exceeding the competence limits of the Ministry of Employment and, where appropriate, of the Governing Council of IFA/IDEA”.
The judge adds that the total of the aid that would have been granted “illicitly, without there being a request or accompanying projects, reports or feasibility plans by those investigated, would have amounted to the approximate sum of 34 million euros for the sole illegitimate interest in favoring both investigated and their group of companies by the Autonomous Administration”, specifying that, of these 34 million, “there were aid resolutions by the corresponding General Director of Labor for an approximate amount of 27,928,772 euros, subscribing also additional collaboration agreements with IFA/IDEA to materialize the payment of these aids amounting to 16,461,132 euros”.
Finally, Vilaplana indicates that, of the 24 agreements signed to “favor” this group, those investigated “would have achieved, thanks to their important relationships and influences in the Ministry of Employment and IFA, that twenty of them were carried out between July 2003 and February 2004”, a point in which he highlights that, of all the aid granted, “the ones received by Matadero de la Sierra Morena SA stand out for their special concentration”, with approximately 7.5 million euros, while other entities that “would receive significant aid” would be Arcadia Emprendedora SL, Sociedad del Desarrollo de El Pedroso SL (Sodelp) and Marco de Estudios y Proyeccion Siglo XXI, “which were beneficiaries of aid for more than two million euros”.