A citizen lawsuit against corruption
The keys to the lawsuit
Why the CNMV report is important
Bankia was a scam and they knew it
The Black cards
The Citizens’ right to know the historical facts
The importance of relevant information provided by citizens
Rato won’t fall alone
Who we are
A CITIZEN LAWSUIT AGAINST CORRUPTION:
15MpaRato is the first lawsuit filed by organised citizens that stands up to corruption.
It is a call to action, aware that only citizens can stop them.
The first lawsuit against bankers in Spain, filed to hold them accountable for the economic crisis: the citizen
lawsuit of “15MpaRato” against the foremost Spanish banker & politician Rodrigo Rato (former Vice-president of the PP led Government and the Minister of Economy – during Aznar’s government – from 1996 to 2004, IMF Managing Director until his resignation in June 2007 and Bankia’s president from 2010 to 2012) and his accomplices at Bankia (the bank at the centre of the biggest bailout for a Spanish financial institution).
These are the objectives laid out:
- This is not a crisis; it is not a divine punishment but an organised scam and as such it has people who are
responsible with names and surnames.
- To put an end to impunity and plots involving governments and corporations.We will bailout ourselves with money recovered from the corrupt: the bailout must be paid for with the money they have stolen, our money.
- The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012 by Spain and the European Commission to recapitalise private banks with € 100,000 million) and the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) imposed by the EU, used as one of the main excuses for the bankruptcy of Bankia *. These are nothing more than legal tricks to bypass the contractual legality guaranteed historically by principles such as the Par Conditio Creditorum. If the memorandum hadn’t been signed, savers would have had priority over other creditors, and would have had the right to lose proportionately in the same way, in equal credit conditions. It wouldn’t have been possible to rescue some, the foreign banks, and abandon others, the shareholders. Stopping this process would have been possible with the judicial seizure of Bankia, as we explain in the text “From Justice”.
* In May 2012, given Bankia’s unsustainable economic situation (the reason for the resignation of its president,Rodrigo Rato), and under the Government of Mariano Rajoy; this bank was nationalised by the FROB (Fund for orderly bank restructuring, created in Spain as a result of the 2008 financial crisis). One of the largest economic losses in the country’s banking history was paved over with public money.
Let us never forget that Bankia is the biggest hole, the hole sine qua non of the Spanish economy, of the great crisis of the Spanish economy.
May 16th-17th, 2012
Following a national demonstration on May 15th, 2011, the main squares of cities and towns throughout the Spanish territory were occupied peacefully for weeks, triggering a social revolution that is still on-going. The following year the movement moved into collectives of activists and citizens who began to create thematic groups and new political parties.
May 16th, 2012, 15M’s 1st anniversary; Barcelona: 15MpaRato was founded and their intentions were proclaimed as the result of a call (at that time anonymous) from Xnet: A message for #12M15M from the Internet quarter
15MpaRato launched a five-year calendar plan which, so far, has been fulfilled quite well ;)
May 23rd, 2012
A campaign was launched to encourage citizens to submit any information which might serve to imprison Rato. The initiative received widespread media coverage.
June 4th, 2012
Thanks to citizen collaboration, evidence that was expected to be gathered over the course of a year was collected in only two weeks.
The private prosecutors were brought together – small savers and families who had lost everything due to Bankia’s bankruptcy – and the drafting of the lawsuit was almost complete. People who were sold Bankia shares and ‘Preferred Shares’ were not properly informed, not informed at all, lied to or not given any other choice. Preferred Shares were of high financial risk and were sold with the understanding that they were fixed income securities when they were not.
June 5th, 2012
15MpaRato launched the first political crowdfunding in the history of Spain, reaching 130% of its goal (15,000 Euros) in just 24 hours (it would have been attained in only 5 hours if the servers had been able to withstand the flood of visits: 11,000 in the first hour).
June 7th, 2012
Such is the scope of the media initiative that one day after collecting the money required – in what could be seen as an opportunistic move – UPyD, a centre-right political party, publicly announced the filing of another lawsuit against Rodrigo Rato, dating it three days before (June 11th) the one which had already been announced by 15MpaRato, stepping over and ignoring all of the work done by civil society.
June 14th, 2012
15MpaRato’s much broader lawsuit was filed. This was a type of lawsuit where the ultimate goal is to recover
the money of those who were scammed. It represented 16 people who were affected, eventually reaching 44
participants in successive appearances. It asked for Bail → Foreclosure → Jail.
The lawsuit filed by 15MpaRato focused on demonstrating that there was a scam, forgery and manipulation
of documents and misleading advertising with the intention to defraud.
- People trust 15MpaRato. Employees, shareholders and preferred shareholders have contacted the collective throughout the entire process and provided valuable information.
- Apart from the crimes and negligent administration of Caja Madrid * and Bankia, which acted against their own interests, 15MpaRato’s lawsuit has added article 282BIS of the Criminal Code which contemplates forgery (falsification of documents), and included the Preferred Shares scam in the judicial process. The reasoning for this is that many of Bankia’s shareholders were Preferred Shareholders who were not given other options than trading their Preferred Shares for shares of the Bank.
* The oldest Spanish savings bank, which, after the restructuring of the financial system in Spain, became part of Bankia with six other Spanish savings banks.
- 15MpaRato publishes any useful information, making it available for everyone, and letting others know if the evidence obtained may be useful for more people.
- UPyD’s tactics tend to create a macro process that can be extended eternally. 15MpaRato’s strategy is to speed up the process with fewer high-profile testimonies and more concrete evidence. UPyD doesn’t provide their own evidence for the case and they request more evidence than we do (useful for both).
UPyD focuses on the political arena, calling heavyweights to testify, few of who are useful and many of who slow down the entire process. We focus on finding evidence so that the affected people we represent can win.
For all this, it is thanks to 15MpaRato that key evidence in the case was put forward: the sales pitch used to sell Preferred Shares, the information requests to IBERCLEAR * and the reports from the National Stock Exchange Commission (CNMV).
* The Spanish central securities depositary responsible for the accounting records and the offsetting and settlement of securities listed on the Spanish stock exchanges.
Here is some of the most important evidence: “DO NOT SHOW THE CLIENTS”
Preferred shares are complex financial products that can only be legally sold to people with demonstrated financial knowledge and after having received an explanation of the risks.
Bankia’s own workers leaked an internal document to 15MpaRato from the entity used as a “sales pitch to sell Preferred Shares” in which, besides encouraging the sale of these shares to individuals such as small savers and families without any financial knowledge, printed on every page was a notice which read: “This information should not be visible to customers”.
WHY IS THE CNMV REPORT IMPORTANT?
The leaking of the CNMV report that had been requested by 15MpaRato, has been extremely important as it demonstrates that the Preferred Shares were indeed a scam.
This document shows how not a single one; zero Preferred Shares were sold to big entities or people with any financial knowledge, since no one able to understand what they were would have bought them. Preferred shares were a high financial risk and were sold with the understanding that they were fixed-income securities when they were not and, unlike deposits, they aren’t insured by the government against losses.
Preferred Shares were sold targeting preferably individuals, families and small savers, in more than 90% of the cases.
In the words of the CNMV, this report * proves that the savings banks involved did not comply with the Securities Market Laws, opening the door to initiate processes not only in civil courts, as has been the case until now, but also in criminal courts, which could also affect all entities that marketed similar products.
* About the trading practices of preferred shares and subordinated debt of Caja Madrid, Bancaja and subsequently Bankia.
This document allows tens of thousands of people who were scammed to win their cases.
The CNMV report demonstrates that the Preferred Shares were only sold to individuals, families and small savers.
THE COURT-APPOINTED EXPERT REPORT
The report issued by the experts from the Bank of Spain proves us right in our lawsuit: the public information published regarding Bankia’s flotation was false and Rato and his accomplices knew it and concealed it.
Bankia was a scam and they knew it.
– BFA/Bankia’s financial statements included in the issue prospectus did not portray the true image of the entity.
– Nor did Bankia’s financial statements represent the REAL situation of the bank.
– Goirigolzarri’s new managing board has also tried to pretty up their accounts. Read about it here:
15MpaRato achieved a record bail of 800 million euros for the Bankia IPO scam. The judge set a liability bond for evidence of crimes covered by article 282 bis of the Penal Code (forgery), giving credence to 15MpaRato’s complaint. Later, and shamefully, the Spanish National Court lowered the liability bond from 800 to 34 million euros.
It is important to recall that neither UPyD nor any other party or organisation, except for 15MpaRato, included what is contemplated in Art. 282 bis of the Spanish Penal Code regarding forgery in their lawsuit, which is exactly what the Bank of Spain’s expert report proves.
“BLESA’S EMAILS” & THE “BLACK” CREDIT CARDS
In December 2013, the media and citizens learned about the contents of around 8000 emails from Caja Madrid (later Bankia) thanks to the work we were doing with another citizen action device, the X Party’s Anti-Corruption Commission.
We brought to light leaks that revealed the email communications of Miguel Blesa during his time as Caja Madrid’s president and describing the criminal manoeuvres carried out by managers at Caja Madrid. We uncovered corruption in the highest echelons of power and how we were responsible for bailing out Bankia because Caja Madrid spent its money on favours and bribes.
How were these documents leaked? Through a prototype of what we now call Xnet Leaks: a secure channel to link citizens with evidence of corruption to journalists and legal experts.
Not long after the citizen commission was formed, it received an anonymous email with the following:
“(…) I have a large and very important amount of information that I bet draws a clear picture of the institutional corruption in Spain (…)”.
The source was quickly put in contact with journalists from elDiario.es and later El Mundo. In the meantime, and in parallel, InfoLibre also worked in-depth on the emails provided by the source.
Furthermore, as soon as we discovered the contents, we asked the judge to admit them as evidence, which he did (though only partly and after three attempts): Blesa’s Emails are, as we were denouncing, key legal evidence of Bankia’s scam to society and specifically to the defrauded preferred shareholders.
THE BLACK CARDS CASE
Nine months after the leak of “Blesa’s Emails”, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor drafted a report which asked the judge of our lawsuit to investigate the existence of so-called “Black Cards” as part of the Bankia scam.
But how could the Anti-corruption Prosecutor know of the existence of these Black Cards which, apperently, did not appear in Bankia’s accounts?
The same way as every other citizen, through the documents published by the press thanks to our leak, by reading the first article about the issue, on eldiario.es: “thanks to an anonymous source who was channelled through collaborators of the X party’s Anti-corruption Commission”, and which Bankia itself has recognised.
Visa Black Cards are the most luxurious range offered by the firm and are designed for multimillionaire fortunes.
Blesa’s Emails reveal that almost all of Caja Madrid’s managers (and later Bankia), during at least the presidencies of Miguel Blesa and Rodrigo Rato, had had access to “Black” Visa credit cards issued by the bank with which, over the course of years, they had made personal charges worth hundreds of thousands of Euros against the savings accounts of Bankia and, thereby, evading 15.5 million Euros in taxes.
Judge Andreu, head of the case, opened a new separate piece on the scandal within the Bankia case. Without the action of civil society, we would have never known about these facts.
Having said this: This scandal reveals NOT JUST that they were buying individual allegiances; they were also buying political parties, trade unions and, ultimately, the government and the opposition.
While they staged their confrontations before the public, they were plotting together so that the PP (Popular Party, political party currently in power with an absolute majority) and their friends could loot Bankia in exchange for loans to political parties and trade unions.
There are 86 people involved from every main political party and trade unions:
Rodrigo Rato, the former president of the IMF, and his accomplice, the banker Miguel Blesa, have had to put up their own property, a total of 19 million Euros, in personal bail (two of the most substantial bonds in the history of Spain), for the “allegedly unlawful” expenses they charged using the Black Cards and they are losing all their privileges.
Blesa’s Emails – Open Access
THE CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO KNOW THE HISTORICAL FACTS
At Xnet we facilitate access to and consultations of ‘Blesa’s Emails’ through an online search engine. We provide this service so that journalists, researchers, affected groups and citizens can discover the true story as narrated by the emails exchanged between Bankia’s board of directors: a plot to plunder a country, the story of how the Spanish economic crisis began.
WE ARE NOT DONE YET
Bankia was a fraud and we, the people, are winning. 15MpaRato also refers cases for civil lawsuits, helping many people who have been scammed to recover their money thanks to the evidence we have made available.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RELEVANT INFORMATION PROVIDED BY CITIZENS
We have created a channel to enable citizens to safely report corruption cases: XnetLeaks.
The Xnet team work to denounce, both in the media and/or legally, the issues raised by the cases they receive. In parallel, Xnet works to empower and train active citizens to fight back against corruption.
RATO DID NOT ACT ALONE AND WILL NOT FALL ALONE
Three years after 15MpaRato got its start, the fall of Rodrigo Rato is a collective victory that has been achieved by organised citizens. It was never a personal goal for the team; it was a strategic objective.
We said that Rato was just the first.
Those responsible for the crisis are going down.
Now we’re targeting their accomplices.
WHO WE ARE
Xnet-x.net (head office in Barcelona)\ Networked Democracy \ Culture and free access to information \ Free Internet & Net Neutrality \\ Dismantling of the top management of SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, main Spanish collecting society), when led by Teddy Bautista
15mparato.wordpress.com (head office in Barcelona)\ Name those responsible for the crisis \ Put an end to impunity \ Recover the money of those defrauded \\ #QuerellapaRato – bail for Rodrigo Rato
X Party.org/anticorruption-commission (head office in Barcelona) \\ Blesa’s emails & the Black cards \ Collaborates in other cases: Benalmádena’s social kitchen \ Mallorca’s Espases hospital case \ lawsuit against the Pujol family
https://xnet-x.net/en/xnetleaks/ \\ Channel created to securely link citizens with evidence of corruption to journalists and legal experts. It is a tool of Xnet’s press team and operates in collaboration with 15MpaRato and the X Party’s Anti- Corruption Commission.