FORMER chairman of Spanish savings bank Caja Madrid, Miguel Blesa, was found dead at a country estate in Cordoba after allegedly shooting himself.
Blesa, who was released from prison pending appeal after being found guilty in the “tarjetas black” banking scandal, was discovered with a bullet wound in his chest from a hunting rifle.
He was on a hunting trip with friends and reportedly said he was going to move his car, when a gunshot was heard.
According to reports from Europa Press, Blesa’s inner circle said he was not depressed or feeling defeated in the days leading up to his death.
The former Caja Madrid boss was one of 64 people accused of misusing €12 million of Caja Madrid and Bankia money between 2003 and 2012.
They were accused of using company credit cards for personal expenses such as luxury holidays and parties without ever justifying them or declaring them to tax authorities.
Miguel Blesa had allegedly established the “corrupt system” while head of the bank before handing the reins over to Rodrigo Rato – also one of the 64 accused – in 2010.
Caja Madrid was once one of Spain’s largest lenders, with an estimated seven million customers and annual earnings of over €2 billion during the real estate boom.
In 2011, it merged with other banks to form Bankia, but just one year later needed billions of euros from the state to stay afloat, and eventually asked the EU for a bailout where it received €41 billion.