SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

Spain

Spanish Tax Agency audits Royal Household payments to King Juan Carlos


P: א (ALEPH) VIA WIKI COMMONS

On Friday, Spanish newspaper El País broke the exclusive news that the Spanish Tax Agency has requested that the Royal Household hand over documents on all payments made to former King Juan Carlos between June 2014 and 2018 and that employees give proof of the origins of the money they deposited on His Majesty’s bank account, allegedly to purchase small items at stores, according to the former King’s employees. 

Sources from inside La Zarzuela Palace have stated that employees have already turned over the requested documents, and they have also answered the tax inspectors’ questions. 

This all comes in the wake of the ever-growing probe that the Spanish Supreme Court, guided by prosecutor Juan Ignacio Campos, is conducting to investigate potential tax crimes committed by the former monarch. 

In particular, this latest request comes as the prosecuting team looks into two big payments made by the former monarch: one, made in December 2020 and amounting to €678,393, was to avoid a potential criminal investigation over his ties to Mexican businessman Allen Sangines-Krausse, who was allegedly the one that paid for King Juan Carlos’s expenses between 2016 and 2019, using money that was not declared in Spain (which is something that is illegal in the country). 

The other payment under the prosecution’s spotlight is the €4.4 million payment he made in order to settle the fact that Zagatka, a company owned by King Juan Carlos’s cousin, Álvaro de Orleans, has paid for countless flights on behalf of the former King. This kind of transaction is still considered a gift and therefore is subject to the payment of income taxes in Spain, which did not happen. 

The funds for this last payment were raised by King Juan Carlos’s entrepreneur friends, and these individuals have been requested by the Spanish Tax Agency to provide documents attesting to the origins of the money. The prosecution has also made a request to a Swiss bank for documents regarding the Zagatka Foundation since it has its financial headquarters there. 

This comes in an extremely difficult moment for former King Juan Carlos: King Felipe has stripped his father of the €198,845 annual salary he used to receive in March 2020, following a Swiss investigation into a multimillion dollars donation that the former monarch allegedly made to businesswoman Corinna Larson. Said woman was whom His Majesty allegedly had the affair that contributed to his rapid popularity decline and ultimately brought him to resign. 

The Spanish Supreme Court and Tax Agency’s investigation has been going on for several months now, and these two payments are the last in a series of monetary transactions that have been scrutinised by prosecutors. Previous objects of focus were the kickback payments he gathered from Mecca, a Saudi Arabian company that was supposedly helped by the former monarch in its bid to win the contract for the building of the high-speed train line AVE. Prosecutors are also looking into a London property that the former monarch supposedly received from the Sultan of Oman. King Juan Carlos never occupied the property, which, after some renovation works, was sold for about €50 million. The prosecution is looking into whether His Majesty has received any profits from the sale. 

King Juan Carlos’s financial woes tangentially involved even his son and granddaughter, King Felipe and Princess Leonor, who supposedly were made heirs of some hedge funds and of a foundation. King Felipe’s legal team responded with a public statement, saying that neither the King nor the Princess of Asturias were aware of these donations and that they renounced any right to them effective immediately. 

Shortly after the publication of the news of the Spanish Tax Agency’s request for documents, King Juan Carlos’s team has issued a statement saying that they believe the former King is being unjustly prosecuted and that the accusations are unfounded.