Two years ago, the ‘guilty bankers’ of BPP (Banco Privado Português) – one of the many banks that have collapsed in Portugal over the last decade or so – were slapped with jail terms the press claimed ‘would never be served’ (click here).
Today that all appeared to change: former BPP president João Rendeiro and fellow director Paulo Guichard ‘heard’ the appeal court in Lisbon change the substance of their convictions from ‘suspended’ to ‘effective’.
Instead of being allowed to ‘pay their way out of jail’ (which actually neither of them have done click here), they will now have to go there and serve time (five years and eight months for Rendeiro, four years and eight months for Guichard).
Bearing in mind Paulo Guichard is living in Brazil and there are minimal “mechanisms of cooperation” between the two countries with regard to convicted criminals, today’s news may be something of a two-minute wonder.
Yes, it’s not good news for João Rendeiro who may still be in Portugal (no one knows, says SIC), but it’s also not the end of the line of the appeals process – nor in fact is it the end of the line of cases stacked up against him with regard to alleged fraud and corruption while at the helm of BPP.
As most will be aware after watching banking frauds inch their way through the Portuguese courts, it’s rare for ‘big fish’ to actually spend time behind bars. The majority die in their own beds of age or infirmity.