BES boss’ massive monthly pension (finally) ‘seized’

It has taken over two years, but the €39,162 that former BES boss Ricardo Salgado has been allegedly pocketing every month while on €3 million bail in two investigations into suspected financial fraud has finally been ‘seized by the authorities’.

From now on, reports tabloid Correio da Manhã, the head of the Espírito Santo clan will only be taking home “a sum equivalent to the national minimum wage” – in other words, €557.

But how much of this is really relevant is the big question.

If Salgado truly has been taking home this princely pension every month (reduced incredibly from an original figure of €59,437), he is unlikely to have been spending it lavishly given that all the assets in his Cascais mansion have already been ‘seized’ (even though they may remain in situ), as has the house itself.

The former ‘boss-of-all-this’ will have almost certainly been putting the money away, in which case the incoming €557 every month can only help the money pile along.

CM adds that the €38,605 now said to have been docked from Salgado’s monthly pay-outs is being held by Lisbon’s TIC (court of criminal instruction), pending the results of future BES court hearings.

Should Salgado be exonerated of the charges against him, it would follow that he would get all the money back.

If he is ‘found guilty’ then the cash would ‘revert to the State’ to go towards making up some of the damages of the spectacular multi-million collapse of the Espírito Santo empire.

For the record, Ricardo Salgado is an arguido (official suspect) in three corruption-related investigations:

BES – where he is under suspicion of qualified fraud, falsification of documents, IT fraud, fiscal fraud, money-laundering and corruption within the private sector;

Monte Branco – where is is under suspicion of ‘eventual practice of crimes of fraud, abuse of confidence, falsification and money-laundering; and

Operation Marquês (involving former prime minister José Sócrates) – where he is under suspicion of “practice of facts susceptible of integration in the crimes of corruption, abuse of confidence, money-laundering and qualified fiscal fraud”.

Negociosonline commented earlier this year that among the possible charges facing Salgado, trafficking of influences has also been added, a “crime against the State, citing whoever, either by him/herself or through an intermediary, with his/her consent and ratification, solicits and/ or accepts, for him/herself or a third party, material or non-material advantage, or the promise of such, to abuse his/her real or supposed influence over any public entity”.

It is a long-winded explanation that leaves Salgado facing a convoluted labyrinth of suspicion, none of which has shown any sign of taking any investigation any closer to a trial date any time soon.

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