Justice reopens the second millionaire scam to the Madrid City Council for the purchase of 500,000 masks
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, during the extraordinary plenary session convened at the request of Más Madrid to address the case of the masks.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, during the extraordinary plenary session convened at the request of Más Madrid to address the case of the masks.Javier Lizon (EFE)

The Superior Court of Justice of Madrid has reopened this Monday the second millionaire scam to the City Council of the capital for the purchase of 500,000 FPP2 masks through an alleged consultant called Sinclair and Wilde, which was paid at least 1.25 million euros by bank transfer. The Investigating Court of Number 30 has ordered the reopening of the case after receiving a report on April 12 indicating that the main suspect, Philippe H. Solomon, has his residence in England, as the newspaper has advanced The reason and has been able to confirm EL PAÍS. Municipal sources assure that once they have been notified of the reopening they will appear in the case.

In the sole basis of the reopening order, the judge states that “in the face of a new clue about the possible whereabouts of the person who would have acted as an intermediary in the purchase operation, the reopening of the proceedings proceeds, and carry out new procedures aimed at clarifying of the facts, and the determination of their authors”. This case was revealed by this newspaper on April 14. The alleged scam was denounced by the City Council itself. According to the documentation that the Administration has sent to the Prosecutor’s Office, the Municipal Police investigated the acquisition of 500,000 FPP2 masks through an alleged consultant called Sinclair and Wilde.

The chief intendant of the Judicial Coordination Unit signed a report on March 5, 2021, where he explained the case. According to the letter, on March 23, 2020, a few days after the confinement was decreed, the City Council “accepted the purchase [precio y condiciones] of a total of 500,000 EKO brand FFP2 masks through the consulting firm Sinclair and Wilde, based in New York”. “The objective [era] provide this equipment to all emergency services and civil protection [del Consistorio]”, explains the police document, to which EL PAÍS had access. In this way, that same day, by means of a bank transfer through Bankinter, the payment of half of the amount agreed for the total merchandise was made: 1.25 million of the 2.5 million euros that had been agreed .

But problems soon arose. On April 7, according to the report, the legal services detected “irregularities”, for which “an order was given to refund the amount paid to the supplier”. “The reason for said request is the breach of contract by the beneficiary of said transfer,” the City Council wrote in the e-mail sent to Bankinter. In addition, the Consistory “again urged the consulting firm Sinclair and Wilde through emails to send the corresponding certificates of conformity for the FPP2 masks.” But no response was obtained from the consultant: “Neither positively nor negatively.”

The verification of the material arrived also increased suspicions. Thus, on May 4, the Director of Operations of the Municipal Emergency Plan of the City Council denounced in writing that, after analyzing the masks, “there is sufficient evidence to assume that they do not comply with the technical requirements, or with Spanish or European regulations. ”. In addition, unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Philippe Haim Solomon, the “person who had a contractual relationship” with the Consistory for this operation, according to the Municipal Police, who also included technical reports in their inquiries indicating the “unsuitability of the product” purchased. Attempts to locate Solomon were in vain. On April 27, the newspaper Free Info tracked down the French-Israeli businessman. “I am not hiding at all,” he assured.

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