24 Apr, 2024 @ 16:36
2 mins read

Madrid president Isabel Ayuso is in hot water after her partner admits to tax fraud and offers to pay €520,000 in fines

Ayuso President Of The Community Of Madrid Speaks About Accusations Of The Pp
Madrid, Spain; 17.02.2022.- Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, appears before the press because the leadership of her party, the Popular Party (PP), headed by Pablo Casado, is investigating whether Ayuso favored her brother in a public contract. Photo: Juan Carlos Rojas

SPANISH media outlets have managed to get their hands on documents showing that businessman Alberto Gonzalez Amador, who is the partner of Madrid regional premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso, admitted committing two counts of tax fraud and was prepared to accept an eight-month suspended jail sentence for his crimes. 

The revelation, which has been published by newspapers such as El Diario and El Pais, directly contradicts a series of claims made by Ayuso and her team, who have been arguing that the allegations are part of an orchestrated campaign against her headed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of the Socialist Party. 

The scandal first came to light in March, after it emerged that public prosecutors had opened a court probe into the activities of Gonzalez. He was suspected by prosecutors of having evaded €350,951 in taxes during 2020 and 2021, by creating a web of dummy corporations and fake invoices. 

He was thought to have used these invented costs to reduce the real profits of his companies, which were made during the worst years of the Covid-19 pandemic via the sale of medical equipment such as face masks, and thus pay less tax. 

Read more: Pressure grows on Madrid regional premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso to quit, after revelation that her partner admitted tax fraud over sale of Covid-19 masks

Ayuso President Of The Community Of Madrid Speaks About Accusations Of The Pp
Madrid regional premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso in a file photo. Credit: Juan Carlos Rojas

There was no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Ayuso, who is 45 years old and has been the conservative Partido Popular’s regional premier of Madrid since 2019. 

This week Spanish media outlets reported having seen an eight-page document sent to the public prosecutor by Gonzalez’s lawyer, in which his client admitted to having committed the two tax offences and detailing the punishment he was willing to accept. 

These included an eight-month suspended jail sentence, as well as the repayment of the €350,951 defrauded, interest on that amount, and a fine of 40% of what was owed to the Tax Agency. In total, a sum of €520,000.

The revelations directly contradict Ayuso’s offensive to present her partner as the victim of a political witch hunt.

Just last week Ayuso claimed that the Tax Agency had in fact owed Gonzalez money, rather than the other way round, and presented a rebate of €620,000 as proof of this. 

A tweet from ‘El Diario’ editor Ignacio Escolar: “In case there was any doubt about MAR and Ayuso’s lies about Alberto González Amador’s tax fraud. He offered the Prosecutor’s Office to accept prison sentences for two crimes, in addition to paying more than half a million.”

In fact, this sum was returned to her partner after he paid it along with his 2022 tax return in a bid to settle his debt. It was not accepted by the Tax Agency, which opted to pursue a judicial process, leading to the rebate Ayuso had cited.

Gonzalez’s lawyer recognised this voluntary payment in his eight-page letter to prosecutors and admitted that it could not be accepted. 

The latest revelations have not, however, prompted Ayuso’s team to abandon their claims of a political witchhunt. 

After this week’s news emerged, her chief-of-staff, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, tweeted on social network X that he had ‘the sensation that the State Prosecutor General will end up in jail’.

“That’s my personal opinion, from my personal phone. Sanchez’s witchhunt against Diaz Ayuso is going badly. Spain is not Venezuela.” 

Since the scandal broke, Rodriguez has threatened to shut down El Diario, one of the newspapers that has been publishing stories about the fraud, as well as falsely accusing two of its journalists of donning masks and trying to force their way into Ayuso’s home in Madrid. 

He has also spread the false claims that it was not Gonzalez who owed the Tax Agency money but rather the other way around. 

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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