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Prison sentence demanded for former IMF boss

prisoninteriorSpanish prosecutors have called for a 4.5 year prison sentence for the former head of the IMF.

Rodrigo Rato is one of 66 people caught in a scandal in which executives and board members at Caja Madrid and Bankia banks misappropriated money.

The allegation is that among them they misused credit cards in order to spend around €12 million on themselves between 2003 and 2012 and are accused of criminal conversion, which is the wrongful possession or disposal of another person’s property as if it were their own.

Sr Rato was president of Bankia from December 2010 to May 2012 after having first been Spain’s Minister of the Economy and later the managing director of the IMF.

Bankia was only set up in 2010 to consolidate operations of seven regional banks, including Caja Madrid, but nearly collapsed by 2012 and had to be bailed out by the EU.

The prosecutors have demanded a six year sentence for Miguel Blesa who, as head of Caja, stands accused of initiating the practice of issuing credit cards for personal use.

Sr Rato succeeded Blesa and is alleged to have continued the practice.

In addition, the prosecutors are seeking €9.3 million in compensation from Blesa and another €2.7 million from Rato, representing the amounts they are accused of spending on the cards.

When questioned in court in 2014, however, Rato denied any wrongdoing and said the credit cards were for discretionary spending as part of the pay deal for executives in Caja Madrid.

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