The Madrid Provincial Prosecutor’s Office requests five years in prison for AVF and GJP, who are accused of a continuing crime of falsification in an official and commercial document in media bankruptcy with a continuing crime of fraud. Specifically, it accuses those responsible for Persuade Comunicación SL of having breached in 2015 a contract for which they were awarded by the Ministry of the Presidency for a value of 175,604 euros. The trial will begin next Tuesday at the Madrid Court.
Given that the company already paid a total of 41.9856 euros to the public treasury in 2015 “for voluntary return of funds received without prior request from the Administration “, the Public Ministry claims 133,647.69 euros for civil liability.
The indictment recalls that when the company Persuade Comunicación SA was chaired by AVF, GJP being its CEO, it was awarded a contract on Dissemination in the media of the information campaign of the Transparency Law and the Transparency Portal held with the Ministry of the Presidency for a campaign that took place during the days March 23 to 30, 2015.
Thus, during the execution and invoicing of the aforementioned contract, the company presented a first version of the Report in which it stated that a total of 97,277,850 impressions and, “in this sense and for justification purposes,” it provided some screenshots despite the fact that clause VI of the Technical Specifications of the contract required said company to supply the original media certificates.
In a second version of the Report, “and in order to compensate for the lack of collection of surcharges for radio advertisements”, said company indicated that the impressions amounted to a total of 115,458,310 providing to justify this figure some scanned documents “with the appearance that they had been made by the different media.”
Hence, the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, in compliance with clause VI of the Technical Prescriptions, was again interested in proving that the service had been carried out through certificates produced by the different media. What’s more, he warned the merchant that the screenshots were not enough.
The company sent a third version of the Report where it recognized that the true number of impressions made in different media that amounted to 28,828,250, “providing, together with said Report, the original certificates that had been issued by the different communication media.”
From the comparative examination of the original certificates provided with the scanned copies “an almost perfect match came off”. Even so, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, “the accused, acting for illicit profit and in order to obtain a financial benefit, proceeded to modify and alter the amount of the impressions made in the media in the following terms.”
In exchange for 41,869 euros, the aforementioned contract contemplated the purchase of spaces in the media and advertising media for the materialization of the advertising campaigns of the Tax Agency during 2015.
It was structured in three sub-campaigns where advertisements were broadcast on television, radio, written press and the Internet). The company, “knowing its falsehood”, presented supporting documentation of the execution of the provision of the television medium that did not conform to reality,
The economic damage caused to the Public Administration, specifically to the Ministry of the Presidency, amounted to 175,604.42 euros broken down as follows: for internet impressions 104,761.80 euros, for the radio campaign another 28,972.69 euros and for the television campaign 41,869.93 euros.