Bankster faces ‘contumacious’ order

 In Justice, News

A Portuguese banker on the run from justice and prison in Portugal could be declared ‘contumacious’ by a high court.

Rumoured to be hiding away in South Africa, João Rendeiro, the multimillionaire with tens of millions stashed in offshore bank accounts, was sentenced to five years and eight months earlier this year for fraud and falsifying digital accounts at BPP, the private investment bank he managed which collapsed during the financial crisis.
The judges only found out about his whereabouts after his wife was taken into custody and quizzed by police investigators after she sold of more than €3 million worth of modern art at a London auction, while handing the police badly forged copies of the originals.
Now Portugal’s Public Ministry has filed for a request that the banker in hiding should be declared ‘contumacious’ i.e. stubbornly or wilfully disobedient of legal authority.
The procurator Isabel Moreira Carvalho sent out the document on 8 November to the Court of Sentence Execution (Tribunal de Execução de Penas) in Lisbon which is the legal authority to issue such a declaration.
Maria de Jesus Rendeiro, the 63-year-old wife of the ‘bankster’ spent a night behind bars at a women’s penitentiary at Tires near Cascais last week, but was allowed home to the couple’s mansion under house arrest where she has been fitted with an electronic bracelet.
Mrs Rendeiro knew that her husband had been forging and selling off original art works knowing that the art would be impounded by the police and sold by the authorities to pay off disgruntled swindled bank clients.
The popular tabloid newspaper Correio da Manhã says that two international arrest warrants have been issued for João Rendeiro and investigations have already seized several documents relating to offshore societies, some of them from the home of Rendeiro’s former chauffeur and one-time president of the Portuguese taxi drivers’ association ANTRAL.
The Algarve Resident newspaper, citing Correio da Manhã, reports that the “authorities have no doubts that Rendeiro’s wife helped her husband to launder the money, auction off the real paintings and art works and benefitted from the spoils of her husband’s criminal activities.
Last week the police found several paintings inside Mrs Rendeiro’s car at one of the couples’ Lisbon homes that they were searching.