The so-called Operation Qatedra, in which the Tax Agency, the Civil Guard and the Prosecutor’s Office investigated in Pontevedra as of 2015 a alleged grant fraud intended for training courses, has ended in acquittal. Three people were tried for continuing documentary falsification in official documents and belonging to a criminal group and the court has just handed down a sentence in which all have been acquitted.
The judge who reviewed the facts and considers it to be proven that the three suspects organized courses that were held and by those who received a subsidy and who stated in the same students and teachers that they had not actually participated in them. However, it decrees its acquittal because “there is no evidence of the impact that this had on the granting of subsidies.”
The sentence, rejects the crime of documentary falsification because it considers that to speak of a falsehood that may have criminal relevance it is not enough for a document to be falsified, but rather “it is necessary to prove the purpose of such falsehood” and, in this case, “it is unknown what relevance or influence has had this alteration of the truth in the awarding of the grants “.
The judge Concepcion Sola MarÃn-Esperanza maintains that the classes were “effectively taught” and the public aid was “granted” and that in this case “it is even unknown whether or not a specific number of students was necessary to teach such courses” and receive the grants.
In relation to the crime of belonging to a criminal group, it indicates that it is not accredited, since the existence of an organized network to fraudulently obtain the subsidies granted to the accused by the Xunta de Galicia has not been proven. There is also no hierarchy of functions and only three defendants have been found to act “with a common decision.”
For this alleged plot, 54 people were investigated and several companies from all types of sectors of the four Galician provinces were dotted, although finally the Pontevedra Economic Crimes Prosecutor’s Office decided to accuse only three, the brothers and partners of Prosem ConsultorÃa Estrat gica SL, Carlos and Jose Antonio Lopez Alvarellos, and the wife of the second, Sira Covelos Núñez, who sat on the defendants’ bench of the Criminal Court number 1 of Pontevedra.
The sentence considers proven that the three defendants, through Prosem, organized and gave training courses for workers of various companies, they were offered courses and reported the existence of subsidies, taking charge in one case of administrative processing. As the judge considers proven, workers who had not participated in them were recorded in such courses, with the data relating to them and sometimes their signatures and this in order to form part of the administrative subsidy file.
The court ruling refers to 14 courses that were held with a smaller or at least different number of students to which it was recorded, but this action has no criminal reproach because there is no evidence of the impact that this procedure had on the granting of the subsidy and because, in addition, the subsidies were granted for courses actually taken.
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