Jail terms demand in bankers’ credit card scandal

Former deputy prime minister Rodrido Rato among 66 people charged

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Rodrigo Rato leaving court following a hearing earlier in the credit cards investigation

By Dave Jamieson

Spanish prosecutors have called for a jail term of four and a half years for Rodrigo Rato, former deputy prime minister of Spain and former director of the International Monetary Fund, if he is found guilty of his role in an alleged credit card scandal.

Last Thursday, anti-corruption prosecutors said they had filed charges against 66 people believed to be linked to the National Court investigation into the alleged use of “opaque” credit cards provided for irregular and undeclared expenses between 2003 and 2012.

The allegations began in October 2014 when it was reported that senior staff at Bankia, formed in 2010 by the consolidation of seven savings banks, had been using corporate credit cards which were provided in addition to their remuneration packages and handled separately from expenses claims. The cards were allegedly used for restaurants, hotels, clothes, travel, cash withdrawals and other private expenses totalling €15 million, all of which was undeclared.

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