Luis Felipe Vieira carried out a series of banking maneuvers to settle a debt of more than 30 million euros for Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) which threw this cost into the losses of the General Bank and the Bank Settlement Fund (FdR), in other words, largely for the taxpayer – these One of the conclusions reached by the deputy in Operation Red Card.
It all started nearly a decade ago, when Votion – Investimentos Imobiliários, SGPS, one of the companies in the Promolavor construction group, belonging to the Benfica president – faced the need to pay CGD an accumulated debt of 31 million euros, which the public bank was pressing Because of his liquidation, because of the demands of rigor and sanitation of the financial sector set at that time by the Troika, which had just landed in Portugal.
Due to the relations of trust that he established with Ricardo Salgado, Luis Felipe Vieira, on December 28, 2012, was able to obtain a loan of 7 million euros.
The credit came as a result of the entry of Imosteps, another company promoter, aiming to invest in Brazil, into Opway, a construction company of the Espírito Santo Group (GES), led by Salgado, an operation for which BES was also financing the Vieira Group. Indeed, on the same day that the Benfica president obtained the personal loan, BES also financed Imosteps, with the aim of investing in Brazil, in 34.5 million euros – the first of several credit tranches that this company should receive in the following months from the bank in Salgado.
From his personal loan, Vieira entered Votion accounts of €6.5 million to settle this amount to CGD. As for the rest of Votion’s debt to the public bank, amounting to 24.5 million euros, the leader of Benfica Caixa gave 50% of Fundo Imobiliário Fechado Real Estate, in its corporate world, for exactly that amount.
On December 31, 2012, the value of this fund was 51.5 million euros, so that CGD, which owns half of it (25.75 million euros), appears to have made a good deal, and an immediate profit of 1.25 million euros. The problem is that the Real Estate Fund recorded negative, accumulating losses at the end of the year of 38.32 million euros. And this path continued in the same direction, as the Fund presented at the time of the issuance of the last accounts, published on December 31, 2019, with losses of 85.8 million euros. This means that at the moment, with the properties in the liquidation stage, CGD risks a loss close to the €24.5 million value that Vieira wrote off by donating half of the fund. The loss to be supported by the recapitalization of Caixa made in recent years is partly from public funds.
The value of the loans granted by BES to Imosteps in just over a year and a half amounted to 54.3 million euros, with the last five tranches, worth 8 million euros, paid in July 2014, just two weeks before the Passos Coelho government decided for the bank’s decision (due to The inability of Ricardo Salgado to free his accounts from the red), which led to the birth of Novo Banco, to which Vieira’s debts were transferred.
However, days before BES went extinct, the Benfica president had used the last credit given to Imosteps to put that money into his personal account and was still going in time to pay off the debts he had contracted in December 2012 with the bank in Salgado, which arrived in the meantime, With accrued interest, to 7.7 million euros.
In short, Vieira’s debt to BES no longer belonged to him and went to more than 54 million euros that Imosteps received in credit from the same institution and transferred to Novo Banco.
It was the same debt that the Benfica president, through behind-the-scenes maneuvers and with the help of his friend José Antonio dos Santos (better known as the “Chicken King”), would manage in August last year to return to their personal financial sphere in return for paying only 9 million euros (about one sixth amount), after Novo Banco decided to sell a batch of credits considered bad (among them the Vieira wallet).
This operation, whose significant losses Novo Banco attributed to the FdR (a financial mechanism imposed by the troika and formed by banks, including the CGD, to respond to crisis situations in one of them), was considered by the Public Prosecution Office as a fraud to the same fund (which was financed from the state budget), and this It is the reason why this was one of the reasons why authorities last week launched the red card operation, which led to the temporary detention of Vieira, his son Thiago Vieira (a member of the Votion Council), by Jose Antonio dos Santos and lawyer and sports businessman Bruno Macedo.