“Rodrigo Rato, former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail for embezzlement from two banks he led in the past – Bankia & Caja Madrid.
As reported by the AFP, Rato “misused” over $12 million Euro’s from 2003 to 2012. During that time, Spain underwent a terrible economic crisis, with unemployment reaching nearly 25%. Youth unemployment hit over 50% at its peak, and is still far above the historical average.
But while all that suffering was going on, Rato was living it up. And Bankia’s elitist leaders profited massively from Rato’s influence, as the bank was given 22 billion Euro’s worth of taxpayer money when it was on the verge of collapse. That wasn’t enough for Bankia though, as they were still at risk of failing, so they got another 41 billion Euro’s from the European Central Bank.
While Rato and his elitist friends got rich, regular people suffered. According to BusinessDay “Thousands of small-scale investors lost their money after they were persuaded to convert their savings to shares ahead of the flotation of Bankia in 2011, with Rato at the reins. Less than a year later, he resigned as it became known that Bankia was in dire straits.”
Over 60 corrupt bankers taken down
The same investigation that brought down Rodrigo Rato also focused on over 6o other bankers. In total, 65 bankers have been prosecuted, with many facing jail time.
The corruption within the Spanish banking system was so bad that even the government referred to it as a “corrupt system.”
And the corruption is worldwide. Rato is the 3rd IMF President to have been charged with illegal conduct – and even the current IMF head is facing serious legal problems of her own.”
“Rato was brought down in a massive effort by Spain to get rid of corruption within the banking system. The problem had gotten so bad that Spain decided to clean house and 65 people, including Rato, were brought to task.
According to the AP, they were accused of having paid for personal expenses with credit cards put at their disposal by both Caja Madrid and Bankia, without ever justifying them or declaring them to tax authorities. These expenses included petrol for their cars, supermarket shopping, holidays, luxury bags and parties in nightclubs.”