Spain toughens up on financial criminals


When Carmelo Aured, developer and former mayor of the Spanish town of La Muela, went to his 2012 sentencing for dodging €734,666 (about $930,000) in taxes in 2004 and 2005, he had reason to think that he could pay his fines and go home. But things had changed since he’d committed tax fraud, and the judge sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in jail, which left his defense attorney baffled.

“He had the money in the bank to pay, but the judge didn’t want it,” his lawyer, César Ciriano, told the Spanish newspaper El País.

Aured is not the only tax fraudster in Spanish prison. In 2012, there were 88 people incarcerated in Spain for tax fraud. Since then, the number has risen by 64%, to 144. All told, 615 people are in jail in Spain for economic crimes, which include tax fraud, money laundering, and corporate malfeasance.

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