The magistrate Reyes Flores Canales , head of the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 8 of Seville, has issued an order by which she agrees to refrain in favor of the Central Court of Instruction Dean of the National Court in the preliminary proceedings 1937/2020 opened as a consequence of the lawsuit filed by Abengoa shareholders against the board of directors of the Seville listed company chaired by Gonzalo Urquijo Fernandez de Araoz and made up of Manuel Castro Aladro , Jose Luis del Valle Doblado , Jose Wahnon Levy , Ramon Sotomayor Jauregui , Pilar Cavero Mestre andJosep Pique Camps .
With this decision, the aforementioned complaint will return to the National Court, where it was initially presented by Inversion Corporativa (IC), the company that the founding families of Abengoa used until 2015 to govern the company, in June 2020.
The judge makes this decision by instances of the Prosecutor for Economic Crimes of the Provincial Court of Seville, which twice requested the inhibition in favor of the National Court.
Previously, in June 2021, it adopted the decision to file the information proceedings that it had opened as a result of the complaints filed by several Abengoa shareholders from different provinces of Spain, who provided different information to this newspaper about the events that occurred during the restructuring. financial statements of the company founded in 1941, and agreed to refer them to the Sevillian Court for their union with the IC complaint, considering that the facts denounced “would be indicatively constitutive, a priori, of a crime of unfair administration, a crime against the market, a corporate crime, and a possible crime of fraud”.
In July 2021, in a first report, the prosecutor for economic crimes in charge of the case, Verena Garcia-Lomas Gago, requested the inhibition to the National High Court precisely for having harmed by the alleged crimes in several Spanish provinces, and despite the fact that Judge Jose Luis Calama Teixeira , head of the Central Court of Investigation number 4 of the National High Court, had declared himself incompetent, although not without pointing out that he saw signs of crime in the events denounced by the criminal action, as this newspaper advanced.
Recently, in a second report, the prosecutor stated that she did not oppose the extension of the lawsuit filed in July by IC, considering that there was a preconceived plan since 2016 to not revive the company and allegedly defraud shareholders, nor to the accession to the cause of the 101 individual shareholders who had requested it, and that precisely because of that high number of affected throughout Spain, the jurisdiction of the National Court proceeded.
In addition, the prosecutor points out, data so far undisclosed, that the extension of the complaint highlights “indications of the creation of an opaque corporate structure with the involvement of a Dutch foundation, which would have been made with a large part of the liquidity allegedly destined for refloat Abengoa SA”. The existence of Stichting Seville, the aforementioned Dutch foundation, was revealed by this newspaper last March.
In view of these requests, Judge Flores Canales, in her order, recalls that although Judge Calama Texeira rejected in October 2020 the jurisdiction of the lawsuit for not exceeding the damage to IC of the 7 million euros required by jurisprudence, After the initial complaint, multiple complaints have been filed by minority shareholders urging their adherence to it and that, given their proven participation in the company, the arguments used to declare themselves incompetent “fall”, because there is a significant number of injured throughout Spain. and the damage far exceeds the aforementioned amount of 7 million euros.
The judge literally states in the order that “it is clear that we would be facing a fraud with serious repercussions for the national economy because it also affects a generality of people to whom it generates significant patrimonial damage.”
In addition, it considers that the investigation “highlights allegedly criminal acts as a result of the operations carried out by the Board of Directors of Abengoa SA after the first economic restructuring and the second economic restructuring by adopting a series of presumably harmful agreements that harmed the minority shareholders and the company itself and that directly benefited the particular interests of the financial entities that were creditors of the company”.
The judge cites both restructurings, although there is no evidence that she admitted to the process the extension of the complaint made by IC last July, which precisely led to cover the events of both the 2016 rescue and the initially denounced 2019 one.
Therefore, in the opinion of the magistrate, the facts that are reported in detail in the complaint “would constitute a crime related to the market for alteration and concealment of economic-financial information by the administrator of a listed company, of two corporate crimes – for denial of information to a partner and for the imposition of an agreement harmful to a company and minority partners–, which is why the inhibition of these preliminary proceedings is agreed in favor of the Dean Central Court of Instruction, which must distribute it to the one that is predetermined by law.

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