On September 16, 2018, Juan Carlos I wrote in his own handwriting a letter to Álvaro de Orleans, 73, a distant cousin who was in trouble at the time.
The Geneva prosecutor Yves Bertossa had registered weeks before the office in Geneva of the wealth manager Arturo Fasana and found the bank movements of two foundations, Zagatka and Lucum, with millionaire accounts in Swiss banks. The first of them, Zagatka, was in the name of Álvaro de Orleans and his son.
Spanish King Emeritus Juan Carlos I during burial Placido Arango in Madrid on Monday 17 February 2020 17/02/2020
A dozen businessmen friends of the king emeritus lent him the 4.4 million
“Dear Álvaro, I leave before an hour for New York and with this flight I realize that without realizing it you have invited me to many more flights than I thought I had done (you could have told me), our family has always been United for centuries and I cannot forget historical situations where the help was decisive, I have only words of gratitude for such a long gesture … A big hug from your cousin who loves and admires you. Signed Juanito ”.
This flight to New York was the last that the king emeritus made in private jet companies funded for 11 years by the Zagatka Foundation in Orleans at a cost of eight million euros.
Corinna Larsen, Juan Carlos I’s examiner, had also used these services and spent three million euros that Juan Carlos I’s cousin and close friend claimed from her when he discovered that she was traveling alone and that she returned. Several luxury shotguns were also paid for by the Zagatka Foundation.
The emeritus king has just regularized before the Spanish Tax Agency, without prior requirement, the enjoyment of hundreds of flights paid for by the Zagatka Foundation, fiscally considered as payments in kind for which he has paid 4,395,901 euros, as announced this Thursday by THE COUNTRY in its digital edition.
When Juan Carlos I sent this letter to his cousin, the chief prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva had blocked the Swiss accounts of the Zagatka Foundation and those of Álvaro de Orleans.
Two months before these events, the tapes that the ex-commissioner José Manuel Villarejo recorded of Corinna Larsen in London had been published in Spain in which she accused the emeritus king of charging commissions for the works of the AVE to Mecca and Orleans of being his front man , an accusation that he denies.
The discovery by the prosecutor Bertossa of the two foundations, and their associated accounts, led to the opening of a case in Switzerland for alleged aggravated money laundering in which their protagonists have suffered different fates.
Orleans then testified as a witness and months later his accounts were unlocked. Larsen, Fasana and Dante Canónica, the manager and director of the Lucum Foundation in which the then head of state received 65 million from Saudi Arabia, did so as investigated. The three continue today in the same procedural situation and have testified at least three times.
The Zagatka Foundation was created in Liechtenstein on October 1, 2003 with an income in the Swiss bank Credit Suisse and came to treasure more than 14 million. In its statutes it is established that the first beneficiary of its funds was Álvaro de Orleans; the second, his son in the event that his father died; the third, Juan Carlos I, in the event of the death of the former, and in fourth and fifth place, Felipe VI and his sisters if the chain broke. The presence of these members of the royal family as beneficiaries is contained in a regulation of the Zagatka Foundation dated May 8, 2006.
The regulations of this foundation established that the then head of state was named as the third beneficiary in recognition of his work in the democratization of Spain. “I have paid for many flights to the King Emeritus, but I am not his front man,” Álvaro de Orleans told EL PAÍS in February 2020 during an interview in Geneva.
The distant cousin of Juan Carlos I stated that he intended to defend “the privacy” of the emeritus king and continue the tradition of his father and grandfather of helping the Spanish monarchy.
The decision of the Casa del Rey, last March, to withdraw the budget allocation from Juan Carlos I, came 24 hours after this newspaper revealed that the emeritus king was listed as the third beneficiary of the foundation that paid for his private flights and that The Daily Telegraph assured that Felipe VI was the second beneficiary of the Panamanian Lucum Foundation. Zarzuela affirmed that Felipe VI was not aware of appearing as a beneficiary in Zagatka.
The first relevant deposit into the Zagatka account occurred in 2004, a year after its creation, and amounted to 1,900,000 euros, according to bank documentation. As the source of the funds, according to a handwritten annotation by the manager Arturo Fasana, there is an alleged commission for the sale of Banco Zaragozano to Barclays Bank in 2003, owned by Alberto Cortina and Alberto Alcocer, friends of Juan Carlos I. Orleans denies having relationships with the two businessmen or with the alleged commission.
The Zagatka Foundation received around one million euros in four donations when its balance was about to run out. His accounts, to which EL PAÍS had access, also include income of several million that Álvaro de Orleans attributes to his management as an intermediary in the construction of a hotel complex in Mexico and his personal assets.
The manager of the Zagatka account, Arturo Fasana, and the director of the foundation, the lawyer Dante Canónica, are the same from the Lucum Foundation, where the 65 million were received in favor of Juan Carlos I that ended up in a Corinna account Larsen in Nassau (Bahamas).
Orleans changed Zagatka’s statutes months ago and removed the emeritus king and his three sons from being beneficiaries. The trace of Canonical, was also erased when ceasing him as director. Now, only him and one of his children appears.