The Madrid prosecutor’s office has denounced José María Aristrain de la Cruz , a steel magnate and one of the greatest fortunes in Spain, for simulating the sale of a mansion in the center of Madrid to elude the Treasury.
This is stated in the complaint for punishable insolvency that he presented on May 24 in the courts of Plaza de Castilla and to which El Periódico de España has had access. Aristrain is about to sit on the bench in the largest trial for tax fraud, in which he is accused of defrauding 200 million euros and which has been dancing from court to court for a decade and which will be held on October 20 .
José María Aristrain de la Cruz is the number one enemy of the Treasury. In 2007, a court in Pozuelo ordered entry into their homes for the largest complaint of tax fraud in history. The Treasury accused him of defrauding about 200 million euros by pretending to reside in Switzerland and fictitiously harboring his shares in Luxembourg.
Aristrain is one of the large shareholders of the giant Arcelor Mittal. His fortune was founded by his father, José María Aristrain Noain , with the steel industry in the Basque Country under Franco. In the 1980s it became the second fortune of Spain and died in a mysterious helicopter accident on the blue coast.
His son, born in France in 1962, inherited an empire. Not only did it include steel mills, it also owns one of the best collections of private cars in the world, a mansion in Seville, large estates in Andalusia and Extremadura and a practically entire block on Fernando el Santo street, in the heart of Madrid, in one of the the safest areas of the capital. Aristrain is obsessed with security and owns several palaces and the old British embassy next to the headquarters of the PP.
In 2007, a Pozuelo court ordered entry into their homes for the largest complaint of tax fraud in history
It was one of those buildings, the one on Calle Zurbano 14, practically in front of the headquarters of the PP, which has brought him before the investigating judge.
According to the prosecution’s complaint, to which El Periódico de España has had access, the company that owns the Pioninin property, owned by Aristrain, sold the building in 2012 “for a price of 5,500,000 euros, plus 220,000 euros of VAT, that it is fully postponed for a period of five years, without any guarantee or additional requirement, nor be raised to registration, thereby leaving the company without any assets ”.
The Treasury claimed 661,296 euros from the company and that way it was left without being able to collect. The Tax Agency seized the property and when he went to auction it, Aristrain claimed that it was no longer from Pioninin but his and thwarted the operation.
According to the prosecution, “the aforementioned operations reflect that the intention” of Aristrain “was to place itself in a situation of apparent and total insolvency, with the sole purpose of placing the assets of the company outside the executive action of the AEAT”. Aristrain has been summoned to testify in November but is alleging health problems.
The prosecutor denounces Aristrain for punishable insolvency. The Penal Code punishes with penalties of between one and four years in prison to anyone who performs any act of asset disposition or generator of obligations that delays, hinders or prevents the effectiveness of an embargo or of an executive or enforcement, judicial, extrajudicial or administrative, initiated or foreseeable initiation ”.
The complaint is added to the great case for tax fraud that is pending and that shows the slowness of justice. That case began in 2011 in Pozuelo de Alarcón. The investigation was delayed for years by the letters rogatory to Switzerland and Luxembourg without neither the prosecution nor the defense criticizing the jurisdiction of Pozuelo. However, when it came to trial in 2019, the Madrid Provincial Court considered that it was a matter for the National Court since the amount was so high that it affected the national economy.
Finally, the Supreme Court has decided that the jurisdiction belongs to the Provincial Court. It will start on October 20. Two years have passed since Aristrain traveled from Switzerland to Madrid and presented himself in a wheelchair. The Prosecutor’s Office asks for 64 years in prison and 1,400 million between defrauded quota and fine.