Crime & Justice

Former IMF chief Rato faces fresh fraud accusations in Spain

(Update 1: adds detail throughout)

Madrid, Mar 23 (efe-epa).- Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors on Tuesday published a raft of accusations against the scandal-hit former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato, including tax fraud, corruption and falsifying documents.

In a statement, Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutor’s office outlined 11 accusations against the former politician and banker.

It requested between four and six year sentences for allegations of embezzlement, insolvency offences, corrupt business practices and three years for alleged falsification of documents.

The anti-corruption prosecutor’s office alleged Rato defrauded Spain’s public coffers of 8.5 million euros ($10M) by using offshore accounts and claims it found irregular increases amounting to 15.6 million euros in his personal wealth between 2005-15.

The office further alleged that Rato had from 1999 hidden capital from the Spanish tax agency using a “multitude” of bank accounts in the Bahamas, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Monaco.

Documents seized in a raid on his property in 2015 showed he also had accounts in the United States and Switzerland that were not known to Spanish authorities and that he had operated via accounts in low tax territories such as the Isle of Man, Kuwait and Curaçao.

Prosecutors accused Rato, 72, of omitting “any reference” to a series of offshore accounts when he was granted a tax amnesty in 2012.

Rato joined the IMF as managing director after serving as Spain’s deputy prime minister between and economy minister with the erstwhile conservative Popular Party government.

No stranger to scandals, in 2017 he was convicted of embezzlement and ordered to serve a 4.5-year prison term for a case related to his time at the helm of Spanish lender Bankia.

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