A CRIMINAL probe has been launched into alleged account-fiddling at popular Spanish supermarket Dia.

The retail giant’s former CEO, Ricardo Curras is suspected of helping inflate pre-tax profits to the tune of €51 million in order to justify his bonus.

Judge Alejandro Abascal is investigating the alleged wrongdoing of Curras in 2017, which made it appear as though the company had met its financial objectives.

Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman took over Dia in 2019, promising to inject €500 million into the crisis-hit supermarket chain.

DIA: A probe has been launched into the crisis-hit supermarket chain

The billionaire, who became the majority shareholder (69.7%) said his LetterOne fund would come up with the cash.

Now Curras, other ex-Dia executives and an external KPMG auditor have now been ordered to appear in court.

Meanwhile Spanish markets regulator CNMV also confirmed it was investigating Dia over a ‘very serious infringement’.

The probe, which is to be put on hold while Abascal’s investigation continues, concerns whether Curras had filed ‘inaccurate or untrue financial information’ between 2016 and 2017.

Last week a Dia spokesperson said: “As of today the company has not been notified that it is involved.”

It comes after Dia lost an eye-watering €420.7 million during the first half of 2019, 14 times higher than the previous year when it shed €29.5 million.

The supermarket had been struggling to compete with other retailers and the closure of 30 Max Descuento stores, part of its Grupo El Arbol subsidiary, has been planned.

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