Net tightens round yet another disgraced former Portuguese banker

While former BPP president João Rendeiro is reported to be appealing the €1.5 million fine handed out by regulatory authority CMVM on Wednesday, a new “exposé” claims the disgraced ex-banker has “hidden” €6 million in offshore fiscal havens.

João Rendeiro is understood to have transferred “a vast fortune” abroad, writes the nation’s investigative tabloid Correio da Manhã – which only days before ran a story on his valuable art collection which has apparently been mysteriously depleted.

Suggesting that valuable pieces have been farmed out to friends to keep them ‘safe’ from court seizures, CM now claims the public ministry has proof that Rendeiro funnelled millions into accounts in the name of his wife between the years of 2009-2013.

The money is allegedly held through accounts held in Switzerland, Singapore and Dubai.

CM quotes the public ministry as saying: “The opening of accounts in the name of Maria de Jesus Silva de Matos Jesus Rendeiro or of entities in which the same is founder, representative, lawyer or any other title, and the transfer of funds to the same, is an act of mere subterfuge to make origin, ownership or seizure of the wealth of this defendant more difficult – particularly as there is no record of any sources of income for said Maria de Jesus Silva de Matos Jesus Rendeiro”.

The details, allegedly supplied to Portuguese investors by Swiss authorities, reveal the movements of money controlled by offshores in the name of Rendeiro to offshores in the name of his wife.

Thus, all would appear (finally) to be unravelling as Rendeiro and fellow BPP administrators face sentencing in the first BPP judgement – due to be announced in court in Lisbon tomorrow.

For readers who are confused as to the origins of the BPP ‘scandal’, they hark back to as early as 2007 and, like BPN and BES, centre on fraud, money-laundering and the falsifying of accounts.

This current case focuses on financial services company Privado Financeiras, in which four other former BPP administrators are also accused of qualified fraud.

Privado Financeiras effectively lost €40 million of its customers’ money, and contributed to the subsequent spectacular downfall of BPP – as it owed the over-extended private bank over €50 million.

According to Expresso, Rendeiro and his fellow defendants face at least eight years in jail if convicted tomorrow – however, the paper stresses that “whatever the decision, the accused can always appeal”.

In Portugal, high-profile defendants appealing against prison sentences are usually able to do so from a position of freedom.

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