Félix Solís Yáñez, CEO and president of the Board of Directors of the Félix Solís wineries, and José García Carrión Jordán, sole administrator of García Carrión, have been charged by the National Court for an alleged wine sales scam. Judge José Luis Calama accuses the two businessmen of marketing under the label of Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva bottles of wine that did not meet the requirements to be considered those categories because they did not allow them to age or remain in oak barrels for the necessary period. .
The magistrate of the Central Court of Instruction Number 4 has summoned both to testify in an order issued this Wednesday. Solís will compare on December 4 at 9:00 a.m., while Carrión must go to court at 11:00 a.m. on the same day. Those investigated will defend themselves against charges of false advertising, fraud and document falsification, according to Europa Press.
The dismissal of Navarro López and Fernando Castro is proposed
In addition, the instructor also calls as a witness on November 23 the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development of the Board of Communities of Castilla-La Mancha from 2015 to 2019 and since then Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Francisco Martínez Dry riverbed.
In his resolution, the magistrate agreed to direct the procedure as legal entities against the certifying entities Sohiscert and Liec Agroalimentaria, considering that they could have indirectly acted as necessary cooperators of the criminal offenses investigated in the case.
Likewise, the judge requires the investigated companies Félix Solís SL, Félix Solís Avantis SA, García Carrión SA and Grupo Vinartis SA to correct the defects of appearance before being called to testify in court.
Finally, Calama asks the prosecutor’s office to consider the possibility of decreeing the dismissal of the case for the Navarro López and Fernando Castro wineries, ASXXA AS OR FOR ITS REPRESENTATIVES, given that after examination of the documentation it cannot be inferred that said investigated They would not have participated in an illegal activity.
The reports reveal irregularities.
It should be remembered that it was in April 2021 when the magistrate admitted for processing through an order a complaint presented by the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate whether the wineries of the Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) of Valdepeñas Félix Solís, García Carrión, Bodegas Navar ro Lopez and Bodegas Fernando Castro – as well as its administrators – marketed as Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines that “did not meet the production requirements, neither in the minimum aging period, nor in the permanence in oak barrels or in the bottle.” Since then, the judge notes, he has received police reports, documentation from the companies investigated and other entities and institutions.
In the case of Félix Solís, he explains, it is clear that those investigated “have carried out the marketing of red wines from the Valdepeñas Denomination of Origin with the mentions Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, in quantities much higher than those declared to the Council. “. Regulator of the Valdepeñas Denomination of Origin, during the period corresponding to the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, introducing it into economic traffic.”
Said documentation, continues the judge, “evidence a lack of agreement between the data provided by the different organizations involved in production, control and certification, which calls into question the veracity of the information provided by those investigated, with the independent CIA of the possible participation in the events of the rest of the operators involved in this process.”
Specifically, the aforementioned dysfunction appears from the analysis of data relating to wine stocks, declared outputs, declarations of suitability, and barrel stock. “In this way, at the beginning of 2017, those investigated had a considerably larger quantity of wine than that declared to the Regulatory Council, increasing the difference to 914,988 liters. In addition, they had 605,480 liters of reserve wine above what was communicated to the Cons. “Regulatory axis”, maintains the judge.
On the other hand, the magistrate states, a difference of 4,608,437 liters appears between the outputs declared to the Regulatory Council and the marketing to three companies in the national territory. Specifically, the reserve wine presents a mismatch of 3,767,884 liters. Regarding the data provided at a court request, this difference reaches 15,621,492 liters.
The Judge Points Out That, As With The Previous Group Of Investigators, The Documentation Presented, As Well As Obtained Through The Regulatory Council, The Certified Entity Ora Liec Agroalimentaria And Thirteen Mercantile Buyers, “Indiciarismente Shows That García Carrrión Sa And Grupo Vinartis SA and José García Carrión would also have marketed red wines from the Valdepeñas Designation of Origin without complying with the production requirements, neither in the minimum aging period, nor in the permanence in oak barrels, nor in the bottle.
It also points out that the comparison between the declaration of suitability data provided by these investigators and the quantity of wine marketed to thirteen companies in the national territory shows that, in relation to the wines with the Gran Reserva 2018 mention, more liters of wine would have been marketed. Those declared as suitable, with a discrepancy of more than six million liters between the data on the declaration of suitability from the Regulatory Council and the liters marketed by the winery in the period from 2017 to 2019.
They did not have the “necessary barrels”
Regarding its productive capacity, the data show, the magistrate warns, an insufficient number of barrels for the necessary aging of the marketed wine, “which constitutes another important indication of the commission of the accused acts, since it is based on the disparate data provided by the regulatory council, certifying entity, and investigated”
The judge agrees to direct the procedure against the certification companies Sohicert SA. And Liec Agroalimentaria SL because they could have acted as necessary collaborators in the criminal offenses investigated. “This, since the issuance of certificates of aptitude knowing that the data contained therein does not adjust to reality, will constitute a necessary contribution to the execution of the crimes under investigation,” he clarifies.
In the case of Liec Agroalimentaria, the order states, between 2019 and 2020, it processed declarations of suitability before the Regulatory Council for a volume of approximately 23,000,000 books of aged wine. “However, as recorded in the Denomination of Origin records, it does not have the necessary barrels to produce this quantity in that period of time,” he adds.