THE Mayor of Marbella’s attempt to have a well-known lawyer struck off by the Malaga Law Society has been thrown out.
Maria Angeles Munoz accused lawyer Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, of ‘professional misconduct’ after he spoke to the press regarding her alleged failure to properly declare assets abroad.
Munoz insisted that Flores was the main source in media reports concerning her alleged undeclared assets.
But the Law Society of Malaga has concluded that there were no irregularities in Flores’ behaviour, a serious setback for the mayor.
Following the decision, Flores maintains that Munoz and her Swedish husband Lars Broberg purchased a ‘tax evasion’ product from the Swiss Nordea Bank in 2010.
As well as investments in Luxembourg, Munoz and Broberg allegedly bought a 98% share in Crasel SL in 2003.
Crasel SL also owns the couple’s €4.7 million Benahavis mansion, according to Flores.
He claims that the €3.1 million equity release mortgage then taken out by the couple, via the jointly-owned Crasel SL, is set up to avoid the 34% inheritance tax.
Concerns were first raised about Munoz’s foreign dealings by a group established by Flores – the Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA) – made up of expats who have lost millions of euros through Nordea bank.
Flores’ explanation of the Nordea bank product is dedicated to international tax planning.
“The goal is to help people, in a way that is more or less legal, to have to pay less tax,” said Flores.
“In Spain, they offer a product that, according to what their advertising says, is to legally avoid inheritance tax.”
The town hall reported the lawyer to the Law Society, meaning the case would not go to court and would not ‘cause a stir’.
Flores insisted that the town hall had instead opted for ‘a dirty way to tarnish the image of a lawyer’.