EXCLUSIVE: Marbella mayor could face resignation call over €3.1million Luxembourg investment

LAST UPDATED: 3 Mar, 2014 @ 21:50
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EXCLUSIVE: Marbella mayor could face resignation call over €3.1million Luxembourg investment

By Imogen Calderwood

THE Mayor of Marbella is facing possible resignation calls over an alleged failure to declare a €3.1million investment abroad.

The town’s socialist party is demanding an ‘immediate explanation’ about the 2010 investment her company made in a Luxembourg bank.

According to Spanish website eldiario.es, Maria Angeles Munoz and her Swedish husband, Lars Broberg, took out an equity release mortgage worth €3.1million with Nordea bank in 2010.

The couple allegedly used a luxury property in Benahavis, purchased in 2001 and valued at €4.7million, as collateral for the deal.

Now concerns have been raised by a group of equity release victims, many expats, who have lost millions of euros through the bank.

The group Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA) claims money given to her and Broberg’s company, Crasel Panoramica, was kept in Luxembourg where it was invested in a life insurance policy.

It is alleged that Munoz never declared this among her statement of assets when taking up office in 2011, as she was supposed to do.

Spokesman for the PSOE Jose Bernal has now demanded immediate clarification over the investment, questioning whether she could afford it.

“If she cannot she should resign,” he said in a dramatic press conference this afternoon.

“We are talking about the falsifying of a public document, of deliberately hiding information relevant to her tax status,” he said.

“We hope to get an answer from her as soon as possible.”

It is suspected the couple invested in the bank’s flagship ‘international wealth and tax planning’ product, the Capital Managed Plan (CPM).

It is an investment the Spanish Tax Office has warned against using to reduce Wealth Tax and more significantly, Inheritance Tax.

It is unknown however, whether the Mayor knew about this ruling or whether she was herself a victim of ‘deceitful’ publicity of the bank.

ERVA, a body which represents expat victims over misleading advertising practices of banks, discovered the link between the Mayor’s company and Nordea bank earlier this year.

A spokesman for Munoz insisted the claims were completely unfounded.

The spokesman for Marbella Town Hall, Felix Romero, insisted: “All the affairs of the Mayor are perfectly declared with the tax authorities.

“The Mayor has never hidden her family assets nor has her husband. She insists that it’s totally false, and that there’s been no irregularity, neither in her assets or her tax declarations.”

26 COMMENTS

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  1. A well put together and accurate article, highlighting the fraudulent selling of Equity Release Schemes in Spain. Schemes which we might add had already been outlawed in the UK in the 1990’s. Yet UK banks, Rothschild, Barclays and Surrenda Linked Mortgages (SLM) still peddled these obnoxious products in Spain, most likely knowing full well these facts. This was a well publicised case in the UK, which eventually ended up in the House of Lords. Of course Nordea Bank SA Luxembourg who have an office in Nueva Andalucia is Scandinavian, however this does not excuse them for selling this tax defrauding product in Spain. Perhaps the Honorable Mayoress, was also duped by Nordea Banks as has some 100 others.

  2. I think you should go away and stop trolling on subjects you know nothing about. She is a mayor and in a position of public responsibility, so she should know better.

    There is tax avoidence and tax evasion. As a Spain noob, you haven’t yet learned to differentiate them. Now run along.

  3. Fred,

    Had you thought this may have been the case as posted by Erva. Hope you respond more positive if this is the case.

    “Perhaps the Honorable Mayoress, was also duped by Nordea Banks as has some 100 others”.

    By the way I do know the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. It would appear you don’t, and if the evasion part that you mention is not declared it comes under the title of fraud for not declaring. As for avoidance, just a delay in payments. Sleep tight.

  4. Caccia, I’m flattered that you are so concerned about my tax affairs, but it’s all been dealt with long ago. It’s best to cease concerning yourself with other peoples affairs. I know that it’s frustrating for you, but you’ll just have to learn to live with it. Btw, I sleep like a baby. And do you know Erva by any chance? lol

  5. Fred,

    I do not know Evra, just mentioned the name due it appearing on this site. As for concerning myself regarding your tax affairs I was merely pointing out the fact regarding the stupidly of mentioning your undeclared assets, especially by a person giving advice to others. Didn’t wish to see another expat appearing on the front page of OP. Best of luck.

  6. Fred,
    From YOU to ME.

    It would appear you do get confused sometimes.

    Fred

    FEBRUARY 28TH, 2014 2:14 PM
    Caccia, I still have three homes in Europe and Spain only knows about the one in Spain, and that will always be the case unless I decide otherwise. Sorry if that frustrates noobs like yourself. lol.

    Sleep tight.

  7. Fred,

    Just reminding you of what you had said, that’s all. No need to get upset at being caught out and please stop giving advice on matters you know nothing about, mind you I do have a laugh at the things you do come out with, keep the jokes coming.

  8. Fred.

    Can’t understand why get so upset about sound friendly advice. Only thinking of people that maybe in the same position of yourself. Although it has been repeated many times in Sur in English and once again this weeks page 5.

    If you had completed Form’s 720 and omitted assets outside Spain then as you well know it’s evasion and becomes fraudulent.

    As for a Financial adviser I have a good one but think you need to change for a new one if that’s the advice been given, but personally I don’t think you have told the whole truth on Form’s 720. Besides I think you may just get away with 150% fine of value asset’s, that’s the going rate.

    As for being skint I still have properties in the U.K valued at around £1.5 million (increasing weekly at the moment) and collecting good sound monthly rent’s through my agent which is all declared to the U.K Inland Revenue. (I like to sleep at nights)

    I also did mention on another site which you were a party to that I had sold a block of six shops and a church in the U.K within the London area which basically cost me nothing, (rents paid for the loan, sold when loan was repaid, it’s called Business me boy). Whoops almost forgot, also currently receiving three monthly pensions into the household besides the rents.. and am quite happy at being skint.

    Sleep tight, I do.

  9. Fred,

    Forgot to mention. Behind the six shops I also owned two toilets (a Ladies and a Gents) within a block of 40 garages with the right of way to these toilets. The garages belonged to a road construction company. When I sold the shops I removed the toilets from the sale of the shops (which were sold to a Korean Business woman) knowing the interest of the two toilets by construction company who was forever asking to purchase the two toilets..

    I finally agreed to a price with the construction company for the two toilets which enamel-led them to demolish the toilets and garages and to build a small block of houses.

    By the way. I already owned the properties valued at around
    £1.5 million prior to the sale of the shops and church.

    Sleep tight, I do.

  10. Caccia, clearly you were more upset than I thought in order to have had to blurted out all the nonsense above. Anyway, please don’t worry about my sleep patterns or financial situation. Take a deep breath and keep repeating “it’s only a blog”. Goodnight.

  11. There is nothing I hate more than the carpetbaggers who squeeze evry last penny they can from residential and commercial property.

    If property was taxed at a proper rate with strict rent controls and mandatory maintenance programmes, property of both types would be at least half the price it is, just think how much less the cost of living would be, ergo the UK would be much more competative.

    It is scandalous that these parasites get tax breaks on buy to let. Personally I would confiscate all buy to lets and charge punative back taxes.

    Germany is way more competative than the UK and has just such stringent controls. Landlords are not allowed to neglect properties.

    It’s amazing how blind many Brits are to the simple fact that until the property market works for the majority and investors are forced to invest in productive industries there will be no real growth in GDP.

    If Tony the liar had had real principles in 97 he would have brought in capital gains taxes on all property – 100% first 2 years and a sliding scale over 18. The reason that French property used to be so cheap was precisely because they had such controls, yes you are still taxed but at nothing like the old regime, ergo prices have risen. Who wins in this scenario – only parasites like landlords and mortgage lenders, of course rising prices mean more profit for them but how does it benefit the country.

    I met years ago a very young man who created computer games, he was a millionaire at a very young age – good luck to him he created product to make his money – who would begrudge him, certainly not me – it’s parasites I have total contempt for.

  12. Reap,

    Hope this enlightens your little knowledge regarding expats purchasing property in Mexico and to inform your relations in the prison compound, that’s if they can afford to move, that they can purchase property in Mexico.
    ————————————————————

    Foreign citizens are permitted to buy property anywhere in Mexico with the permission of the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry, with the exception of the restricted zones. When registering their purchase, foreigners must agree to adhere to Mexican law and waive any right to foreign intervention. When selling a property, foreigners are permitted to sell at a profit to either national or foreign buyers.

    According to Mexican law, foreigners cannot buy a simple title for any property located within 100 kilometers of an international border or within 50 kilometers of the coast. However, there is a legal pathway through which foreigners can secure all rights of the owner, even in a restricted zone. In these cases, foreigners can establish a fideicomiso (trust) at a Mexican bank or credit union, and then purchase the property through the trust. The trust can be purchased for up to 50 years, with the option to renew when the original term is up. In this case, the beneficiary (or the foreigner) has all rights to the land — including resale for profit.

    Da’.

  13. Stuart Crawford,

    I agree with what you have said but i’m afraid we live in a world of supply and demand and that goes through every aspect of business where there is a demand, not only in the housing section but in all forms of services. It’s like the dog chasing his tail and no doubt your house or flat is worth more than what you paid. (forgetting Spain of course)

    But house sales in Spain is slowly picking up and hopefully those that are caught in a negative situation will benefit in the long run. Mind you it will not be of much help if they perhaps wish to return to the U.K.

    It’s like selling a house in London to move North and after 5 years or so wishing to return.

    That’s life i’m afraid.

  14. Stuart Crawford,

    Although I agreed to what you had said there are of course opposite thoughts to each sentence you made. Perhaps you have or had not been in business otherwise some of the things said would only come from someone not succeeding.

    I shall just pick on one little point that you seemed to miss in paragraph 4. ie; “Landlords are not allowed to neglect properties”. The missing part should also have said that the “Tenants are also not allowed to neglect or damage properties”.

    A few months ago one landlord has now refused to let to Council tenants, ie; the destruction caused and non payments of rent.

    Naturally I could make opposite statements on each paragraph but would be pointless as something may have affected you in the past.

    There has always been capital gains on unearned income and is not something new or needs suggesting.

    We live in a free and a democratic society which strife’s on profit and losses which is now becoming rampant even in the communist state of China.

    Remember the true value of any current house or Flat is only the value as to when it was first purchased unless one down sizes, but even then the normal working class person is also allowed to makes a profit.

    Just a thought.

  15. Reap,

    Suddenly there appears to be some kind of silence regarding your thoughts on foreigners purchasing property in Mexico. In-fact foreigners can purchase properties in most, if not all countries in the World.

    By the way one of my son’s who lives in California U.S.A also has a place in Baja Esenanda, Mexico. Look it up on Google World.

    Won’t give other examples as it would be a waste of my time..

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