Former Novobanco manager accused of defrauding 80 clients of €50 million
A former manager at Novobanco in Spain is being investigated for swindling 80 clients from around €50 million in a Ponzi scheme, with a court ordering the bank to stump up a third-party bond of €19 million.
The Portuguese bank tried to force the defendant to secure the bail money, but the request was rejected by a Spanish court.
The judge decided that the bail for the ex-manager at a branch in Santander, Jacobo Vidal (who has been compared to the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ would have to be granted by a third party.
The case was uncovered at the start of 2020 in which the branch manager had set up a Ponzi scheme which had gone on for more than a decade.
Jacobo Vidal was fired from the bank after the scheme was revealed to the authorities after the bank closed the branch.
At that time, the bank’s former CEO, António Ramalho, went to Spain to keep abreast of what had been going on, and the bank undertook internal audits to find out who, other than the manager, might have been responsible, the results of which are not yet publicly known.
The case went to court and Novobanco stood as both the accuser (against the former manager) and accused for allowing it to happen in the first place, which is why the bank had to stump up bail of €19 million.
Jacobo Vidal is under investigation for fraud, document forgery, disloyal management, while the bank is also being investigated because the former manager, who admitted the scheme to the Spanish Public Ministry, claimed that the bank knew what he had been doing and “looked the other way” because of the advantages that it brought to the bank, according to the Spanish newspaper Europa Press.