Former Spanish banker found dead with shot to the chest
By aritz parra, associated press
MADRID — Jul 19, 2017, 7:19 AM ET
Miguel BlesaThe Associated Press
In this photo taken on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, former President of
Caja Madrid bank Miguel Blesa attends a news conference at the
regional government building in Madrid. Spain's Civil Guard said
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that a former chairman of one of the
country's largest banks has been found dead with a gunshot to the
chest in a private hunting estate in southern Spain. (AP
Spain's Civil Guard said Wednesday that a former chairman of one of
the country's largest banks has been found dead with a gunshot to
the chest in a private hunting estate in southern Spain.
A spokeswoman with the police force said initial inquiries into the
death of the 69 year-old Miguel Blesa had ruled out a homicide.
The former head of the now defunct Caja Madrid savings bank was
awaiting the result of an appeal to a six-year prison sentence for
misusing corporate credit cards issued by Bankia SA, another defunct
Witnesses who were with Blesa in the private property near the
southern city of Cordoba told police that the former banker left the
group early Wednesday morning saying he was going to take his car.
They described hearing one gunshot moments later, the Civil Guard
spokeswoman said, speaking anonymously in line with the police
force's protocol. She said an autopsy would be required to determine
the exact cause of the death.
Blesa chaired Caja Madrid, one of the country's top saving banks,
between 1996 and 2010. In 2011, the bank was merged with seven other
domestic savings institutions to form Bankia, which later had to be
nationalized and bailed out for 18 billion euros ($24 billion.)
Both Blesa and former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato,
who chaired Bankia between 2010 and 2012, appealed a March ruling by
Spain's National Court that condemned them to 6 and 4 ? years in
prison respectively for misusing the saving bank's corporate credit
Blesa received the highest punishment among 65 defendants found
guilty of hiding irregular and undeclared expenses with the cards.
The two former bankers were released on bail while the appeal is
The former banker was also in the midst of a lawsuit involving
irregular bonuses during his time at Caja Madrid. In 2013, he was
briefly jailed for irregularities in the purchase of shares in the
City National Bank of Florida, but a court later acquitted him.
Blesa also appeared in leaked documents of the Mossack Fonseca law
firm, which was investigated for managing offshore accounts
globally. According to media reports at the time, he used the
Panamanian firm in 1989 to create a company in the British Virgin
Islands in order to invest in Spain-based companies.