Money laundering trial opens in Spain

By Christine Duhaime | March 15th, 2010

Spain’s largest money laundering trial, dubbed the “ballena blanca” (white whale) case, started in Malaga, Spain today. Fernando del Valle, a Chilean-born lawyer, and 18 others are on trial charged with money laundering, forgery, false testimony and crimes against the Spanish Treasury for laundering over 12 million euros from drug trafficking, prostitution, and tax fraud. Del Valle is alleged to have set up various corporate entities to facilitate the laundering of the funds. In a profile of Del Valle just after his arrest in March 2005, he was described as “the toast of Marbella society” whose life was one of “luxury befitting his position – designed suits, a beautiful villa, the best schools for his children.” Del Valle built a law practice that became one of the best-known firms dedicated to the area’s booming real estate market in the space of ten years.

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