Friday, December 3

The judge acquits the writer Ildefonso Falcones of tax fraud

The profits from ‘La Catedral del Mar’, Ildefonso Falcones’ best-selling book, ended up paying tax in tax havens, but not because of its writer. This has been determined by the magistrate of the criminal court 25 of Barcelona, ​​which has acquitted the writer and his wife of tax fraud. The Prosecutor’s Office claimed up to six years in prison and three years for his wife as an accomplice.

The Prosecutor’s Office accused Falcones of defrauding the Treasury of 1.4 million euros of the profits of his best-selling books, among them ‘La Catedral del Mar’, in 2009 and 2010, allegedly transferring the copyright to a network of companies based outside of Spain.

The magistrate rules out that the contract for the transfer of the copyright of Falcones’ best-selling books to the law firm he shares with his wife was “simulated”, as maintained by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Tax Agency. And in any case, he adds, the fraud does not reach the 120,000 euros that the law establishes as a minimum to constitute a crime, contrary to what is maintained by the accusations.

In her ruling, the magistrate lashes out at the State Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney, whom she accuses of acting “if not in bad faith, then with a certain laziness” for presenting up to three reports from different tax experts. The criticism goes to the bottom of the accusatory thesis: according to the judge, it is “totally absurd to think” that Falcones ceded the copyright of ‘La Catedral del Mar’ with the aim of evading taxes, since he did so two years before it became a bestseller and when it had already been rejected by another publisher.

When Falcones transferred the copyright to the law firm he shared with his wife, an “absolutely legal” contract was signed, the judge remarks in her sentence, contrary to what is maintained by the accusations. “Why is a transfer of rights by Ildefonso Falcones to a family company, with registered office and taxation in Spain, and which has been considered valid by the Public Treasury for more than 10 years, is no longer considered valid and is now considered simulated ? “, the judge ugly to the Prosecutor’s Office and the Treasury.

Furthermore, the judge highlights that according to a Treasury inspector in the trial, the Tax Agency allowed the administrative file against the firm to be prescribed, which only allowed him to accuse the writer if he maintained the thesis that he simulated the contracts. “Otherwise all possible fraud could not be claimed,” the magistrate added.

As it did not start from a simulated contract, the judge acquits Falcones and his wife, although she does not deny that there was a circuit of companies based in tax havens such as Ireland, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic or the Cayman Islands. However, he points out that “it is more than probable” that whoever organized it was Falcones’ brother, now deceased, although the writer knew him. “The purpose of defrauding the Spanish Tax Department with the creation of this social network is evident,” the judge closes.



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