Pescanova in 2015 reformed as Nueva Pescanova after corporate restructuring.
( Photo: Shutterstock)
A Spanish criminal court has granted Luxembourg investment firm Luxempart €66m in damages after finding fishing company Pescanova guilty of falsifying accounts.
The Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s highest criminal court, last week ruled that Pescanova and six former directors as well as accounting firm BDO should reimburse investors for their losses.
Luxempart invested around €50m in Pescanova--Europe’s second-largest fishing company--in 2011 and 2012. But Pescanova in 2013 filed for bankruptcy after a mismatch between the company’s books and bank accounts emerged.
The fraud “consisted in falsifying financial statements over several years, hiding the real debt position and, among other schemes, simulating revenues through intermediary offshore companies to hide the real financial situation to investors and the banks,” Luxempart said in a press release.
“Luxempart is satisfied about the verdict as it confirms the likelihood to recover at least part of its suffered damage,” the statement continued.
Accountancy BDO has said it would appeal the verdict, which could delay any payments of damages to investors.
The Spanish court also sentenced former Pescanova CEO Manuel Fernandez de Sousa-Faro and other company managers to eight years of imprisonment. The external auditor--a partner at BDO--was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.
Pescanova, in 2015, underwent corporate restructuring and reformed as Nueva Pescanova. The group sells its products in 80 countries and operates 62 fishing vessels.