Following Deloitte’s “forensic audit” – highlighting the ruinous management of former BES boss Ricardo Salgado – media sources suggest the net is now inches from tightening around a multi-million criminal prosecution that could see Salgado fined as much as €10 million but evading jail.
The Bank of Portugal has now sent the audit to the Attorney General’s office which has revealed that it is working in “close collaboration” with bank regulators (the Bank of Portugal and CMVM).
According to Jornal de Negócios, Deloitte’s findings point to “crimes of fraud, infidelity and the favouring of creditors”.
The boss of BES’ “violations” of direct orders coming from the Bank of Portugal (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/forensic-audit-shows-salgado-%E2%80%9Cdisobeyed-bank-of-portugal-21-times%E2%80%9D) may not warrant a custodial sentence, however.
As Sábado points out, “the first two can carry maximum prison sentences of three years” but they can also be converted into fines – as can the third likely charge, which carries a maximum jail term of two years”.
Rádio Renascença is more categorical, saying “the crimes for which Ricardo Salgado may be charged may not result in a prison conviction”.
Sábado suggests a bottom-line fine, “after everything has been totted up in court”, of up to €10 million.
Other former BES bosses “risk fines of up to €5 million”, adds Sábado.
Meantime, Salgado continues to protest that he had always worked “as a conscious professional”.
He told Reuters that he hoped he “would one day be given the right to defend himself on minimally equal ground”.
Salgado has been on €3 million bail, suspected of crimes of fraud, money-laundering, abuse of confidence and falsification of capital, since his family-run bank collapsed eight months ago with losses of €3.6 billion.