The long, hot summer shows no sign of sunshine for former BES ‘head honchos’ of the Espírito Santo clan, purportedly living in financial limbo with their assets frozen as a result of the complex investigation into alleged financial malpractice at the failed bank.
With still no concrete charges on the table – only ‘suspicions’ backed by reams of compromising documentation – family members, including former ‘boss-of-all-this’ Ricardo Salgado, have been in financial ‘lockdown’ since May 2015
Indeed, Salgado has had to post €3 million in bail just to ensure his continued freedom.
Appeals against the asset-freezing were lodged almost a year ago, but Lisbon’s Court of Appeal only ruled on them yesterday (Monday) – effectively saying they should remain in place.
Around 500 assets, including goods and property, were ‘seized’ on the orders of the central court of criminal instruction, “to guarantee the eventual future payment of damages” estimated to be in excess of 1.8 billion euros.
Among the list of millionaire assets are a country estate, luxury homes and even a chapel.
But how much longer Portugal will have to wait before the Espírito Santo investigation moves forwards is anyone’s guess.
It is now nearly two years since BES collapsed, causing untold hardship and misery to thousands of small investors, not to mention serious losses to large investment funds many of which have since lodged multi-million lawsuits.
Photo caption from Voo do Corvo blogspot: “Carlos Costa, governor of the Bank of Portugal, last month accused the ES group of having “developed a fraudulent funding scheme” between its non-financial companies. He added that international experience has shown that frauds can be “difficult to detect before they collapse, in particular when activities are carried out in various jurisdictions”.