Wednesday, December 7

The Prosecutor’s Office investigates black payments in a business incubator of the Government of Murcia with European funds

The Cartagena Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation for a possible crime of bribery in the European Business and Innovation Center of Cartagena (CEEIC), a business incubator that depends on the Development Institute of the Government of the Region of Murcia (Info) and receives funding from the European Union. As this newspaper has confirmed, the prosecutor David Campayo has accepted for processing the complaint filed in October by a worker at the center in which he accused a superior of having charged a businessman black bribes in exchange for services that he should offer free of charge. .

High officials of a business center of the Government of Murcia ignored a complaint about alleged payments in black

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The investigation is based on some recordings to which had access in which a businessman confessed to having paid payments in B to José Carlos García, head of Business Development and European Financing of the CEEIC. According to the information to which this newspaper had access, García carried out tasks for six months for a company dedicated to artificial intelligence and located at that time in that center. At the beginning, the payments were made without any justification, but after a while, always according to the businessman, to launder the money he gave to García, the company put his wife on the payroll and he was listed as an employee despite the fact that the rest of the colleagues did not even they got to know her.

From conversations that this newspaper has accessed, it appears that the company hired García’s services to write financial analyzes or economic projections for the company. None of the employees had knowledge of this type and they made payments to him in the dark so that outside of his working hours he would solve different procedures for them, such as filling out the necessary forms to request a line of loans.

In the complaint that the worker presented in October and that the prosecutor is now going to investigate, all this information was incorporated, as well as the recordings themselves. The Public Ministry understands that there are sufficient indications to start investigating and has summoned the complainant to testify on December 1.

The then director of the entity, Ángel Martínez-Conde, cousin of former minister Federico Trillo, was contacted by this means before publishing the information and admitted that they had received information in this regard, but that they would not act until there was a complaint before the courts. Shortly after, Martínez-Conde made his retirement effective.

This newspaper also contacted the defendant José Carlos García, who categorically denied having made any charge in exchange for these additional services and also refused to agree with the businessman to put his wife on the payroll to launder the transactions. In conversation with, García attributed the accusations to the change of direction in the center following the retirement of Martínez-Conde. According to him, when these types of changes occur, the best performers are attacked.

A non-profit regional government incubator

The CEEIC is a non-profit association, which was created in 1992 with the aim of accelerating and helping to innovate the more than twenty companies that are currently located at its headquarters. Specifically, the CEEIC technicians help the self-employed and newly created companies; incubate and accelerate startups and technology-based companies (EIBT); they advise SMEs in their innovation and digital transformation processes; and foster an entrepreneurial culture and talent development. The center also has an Info aid program “aimed at promoting innovation and entrepreneurship”, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (Feder).

The CEEIC depends on the Development Institute of the Region of Murcia, which finances this type of entity to promote entrepreneurial culture in the region. Although it is a non-profit association and is directed by Martínez-Conde, the main source of financing is through this regional institution and the Feder funds.

The entity also has the participation of the City Council, the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce or the Polytechnic University, and some of the main companies present in the region, such as Repsol, Navantia, Iberdrola or Bankia, which contribute capital and later finance specific projects that are developed in the entity.

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