He may have been released from Sintra’s Carregueira jail earlier this month, but convicted Benfica fraudster José Vale e Azevedo’s troubles are far from over.
His wife Filipa and two former business associates are to finally stand trial, accused of trying to defraud BCP bank of €25 million.
The case dates back to 2006, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã, and centres on a loan requested by Vale e Azevedo’s company, Vale e Azevedo Capital.
According to CM, guarantees for the loan were fabricated.
Associates Eric Guyon and Richard Botella are described as having signed on behalf of a Swiss company that they had nothing to do with, while Filipa Vale e Azevedo is charged with being complicit.
“The same scheme managed to fool other Portuguese companies”, explains CM, naming PêMais, Futurbelas, Vencimos and estate agency business Eurolondons.
Reporting on the alleged fraud back in 2012, Público explained that the Public Ministry’s case centres on the Vale e Azevedo couple having used their ill gotten gains to “maintain the luxury lifestyle that allowed them to live in London for several years”.
Needless to say, American educated Filipa has denied the allegations – or at least she denied them to Público in 2012, saying: “It is very sad to live in a country where there is no presumption of innocence, where citizens are accused in public so that when they eventually get to court, people’s heads (judges are people) have already made up their minds.”
Whether this is the case remains to be seen.
According to CM, Vale e Azevedo will be in the dock with wife Filipa and the co-defendants Guyon and Botella, but he cannot be ‘judged’ as he is still under the jurisdiction of the British court system that released him to Portugal under a European Arrest Warrant (click here).