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Spanish princess accused of money laundering, tax fraud

Princess Cristina, the younger daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain, was accused on Tuesday of money laundering and tax fraud and summoned to appear in court on March 8.

The accusations are based on a lengthy corruption investigation that has also implicated her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player and now businessman who is accused of fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement. Urdangarin allegedly embezzled 6 million euros, about $8.2 million, in government money by funneling money from a foundation he set up to organize sports conferences to bank accounts in his control.

An examining magistrate, José Castro, lodged the latest accusations against the princess in a 200-page ruling. His investigation of her follows an earlier summons he issued three years ago that was set aside by a higher court. Given more time to investigate, Castro concentrated on her personal finances, including her purchase of a mansion in Barcelona.

The princess was a director of her husband’s foundation, and the couple jointly owned a real estate company. Investigators believe the real estate firm has served as a front for the money laundering and tax evasion.

The princess is the first close relative of a Spanish monarch to face a possible criminal trial. She has publicly denied the charges against her.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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