Fernando Ramírez de Haro, Esperanza Aguirre’s husband, recognized in a document dated 2014 a debt of 850,000 euros with each of his four brothers and a niece, for which they corresponded to the 4.2 million euros entered by the sale from a painting by Goya, the portrait of Valentín Belvís de Moncada y Pizarro. After saving himself from ruin thanks to the more than five million euros paid for that painting owned by the family, the husband of the former president of the PP promised to distribute the money with the rest of the heirs. He and his brothers signed that document, but Fernando never did his part, according to Íñigo Ramírez de Haro, who has taken him to court.
AUDIO – A recording confirms that the Goya donation was simulated so that Esperanza Aguirre and her husband could sell it
In that letter, Fernando acknowledges that he sold the painting without being his property, and that he did so due to the financial difficulties that he was dragging on. Aguirre’s husband was able to sell that painting because a donation had previously been simulated, as one of his sisters assured in an audio. The recording was revealed by elDiario.es. “For your father to be the owner of the painting, we had to invent a donation that never happened,” he says in that sound recording sent by WhatsApp to his nephews, Fernando’s children and the former president of Madrid.
The document where he admits the debt and that appears in the summary that investigates the inheritance of Aguirre’s in-laws, is what is known as an acknowledgment of debt. A document by which a debtor sets the amount owed to his creditors and agrees to return that money, usually establishing methods and terms. It is signed by the five brothers, although the names of those who do not appear in the complaint and their signatures have been crossed out to preserve their privacy.
Fernando, Count of Bornos, reunited his brothers at the beginning of 2014. By then he had already made the simulated donation that is recounted in the recording, and with the help of Esperanza Aguirre he had sold the painting to businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir. He paid more than five million euros in an operation that was not subject to any control, because both Aguirre, who presided over the administration responsible for doing so, and her husband avoided protecting the painting as an Asset of Cultural Interest.
The meeting of the whole family that January 9, 2014 had the objective of formalizing the debt of the Count of Bornos with his brothers and niece. The document is headed by the proper name and the signature of the five, because one of them, Juan, had already passed away. His share would go to his daughter.
He had to keep the painting “family property”
In the letter Fernando reflects that his father donated “a series of furniture, pictures and objects belonging to the Bornos house”. He admits that he did not leave those assets to him so that he could sell them at will, but to “keep them in the family property.” He only had to guard them for being the heir to the title of Count of Bornos and for staying to live in the family palace where his parents resided.
What is not mentioned in this document is that this donation to preserve the family heritage, which was never materialized while the father of the family lived, was simulated in 2012. It was falsified through a verbal donation that had not taken place, An invented date was set – May 30, 2006 – and it was signed before the executor of the family, Francisco Javier Cedrón.
The third point explains why this operation was devised: Fernando Ramírez de Haro and Esperanza Aguirre urgently needed the money. Married in a community property regime, the millionaire debts that he had with Banco Santander as a result of his business ventures threatened to drag them both into bankruptcy. Aguirre, through tears, came to tell his in-laws that he feared that Fernando would end up in jail. The document defines this desperate situation as “adverse economic circumstances” that, specifically, amounted to seven million euros in defaults.
That’s when he says that in the donation and sale of the painting he has had the “collaboration and support of his brothers.” It is, at least, a questionable claim. One of them, Íñigo Ramírez de Haro, alleges in his complaint filed in court number 26 in Madrid that he did not know until 2019 about the fraud in the simulated donation of 2012, and that everything was orchestrated while he was in New York. Another, G. Ramírez de Haro, initially refused to sign, claiming that it was all “a lie”, although in the end he agreed because there was no other way to save his brother Fernando from bankruptcy.
Aguirre’s husband insists that “he has not been able” to keep the painting, a valuable portrait of Goya, within the family patrimony “as would have been his wish and that of his father.” It was, without a doubt, the most valuable asset of all those housed in the family mansion located in the Malasaña neighborhood in the heart of Madrid.
No deadlines to pay the 850,000 euros
It is already in the fifth point of the document where he recognizes the debt with his brothers. He points out that he sold Goya’s painting for 5,122,397 euros and “consequently, he has made the decision” to hand over to his brothers – and his niece, J. Ramírez de Haro’s daughter – the amount of 853,732.83 euros. Of course, without setting any deadline. They agreed that he would pay them in the amounts and payments “that is possible according to his availability.” In total, he had to raise 4,268,664 euros.
From there Fernando makes a couple of exceptions. As he told B. Ramírez de Haro, and this details in the WhatsApp recording of his nephews, he renounces the possible inheritance left by his mother. In this way, if that money and patrimony fill the debt with his brothers, matter settled. He also agrees to give up his share if a 600-hectare farm that the brothers owned in Guadalajara is sold. And incidentally, renounces the income of another farm, called Monte Alcarria.
If all these assignments are not enough, in the last point Aguirre’s husband agrees to pay off his debt “in cash or other assets”, provided, of course, that he can reserve enough “to live with dignity.”
Beatriz Valdés, the mother, passed away in 2019. Íñigo Ramírez de Haro alleges that the inheritance left by her did not cover, by any means, the amount that her brother Fernando owed her. He also points out in his complaint that that year he learned of the deception that had been devised so that Aguirre’s husband could appropriate and sell the painting, for which he decided to initiate legal actions.
This document appears in the summary of the case but, like the recording, it has not aroused the interest of the prosecutor and the judge who is instructing the complaint. For now, the Public Ministry has focused only on determining if there was a tax offense in the income statement of Fernando Ramírez de Haro after selling the painting. Nothing further has been advanced.