Former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato was handed a jail sentence of four years and six months Thursday for misusing funds when he was the boss of two Spanish banks.
The case caused an outrage in Spain, where it was uncovered at the height of a severe economic crisis that left many people struggling financially — made all the worse because Bankia later had to be nationalised and injected with more than 22 billion euros in public funds.
Rato, who is also a former Spanish economy minister, remains at liberty pending a possible appeal.
He was on trial with 64 other former executives and board members at both banks accused of misusing 12 million euros between 2003 and 2012 — sometimes splashing out at the height of Spain’s economic crisis.
They were accused of having paid for personal expenses with credit cards put at their disposal by both Caja Madrid and Bankia, without ever justifying them or declaring them to tax authorities.
These expenses included petrol for their cars, supermarket shopping, pricey holidays, luxury bags or parties in nightclubs.