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 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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