Corinna Larsen used 12 companies in tax havens during her relationship with King Emeritus of Spain Juan Carlos I | Spain
Former lover of Spain’s King Emeritus Juan Carlos, businesswoman Corinna Larsen, has created a complex web of at least 12 opaque companies and trusts in tax havens thousands of miles from her residence in Monaco . The purpose of this convoluted financial structure, which was designed by his Swiss lawyers Maurice Turrettini and Dante Canónica and was in place during his relationship with the former monarch, was to conceal more than 70 million euros in accounts and properties. .
The long list of shell companies on which Larsen’s name appears, and those of her two children, has been revealed thanks to an investigation by Swiss public prosecutor Yves Bertossa, who named her as an official suspect in 2018 on allegations money laundering. EL PAÍS has had access to the investigations carried out by the Attorney General of Geneva, which include the arrangements made by Larsen to hide the multi-million assets that she obtained while she was involved with the Spanish head of state of the ‘era.
Who is Corinna Larsen?
Corinna Larsen’s relationship with the then King of Spain became public following the 2012 accident Juan Carlos suffered in Botswana, where they were both on a hunting safari. The incident damaged the monarch’s reputation and was part of the reason for his surprise decision to abdicate in 2014.
Larsen, a Monaco-based businesswoman who continues to use the aristocratic title of her German ex-husband, zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, made headlines in 2018 when tapes were published in which she claimed that it had been used as a facade to conceal part of Juan Carlos’ wealth. .
Juan Carlos I was the subject of an investigation by the prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court in connection with allegations of bribes resulting from the construction of an AVE high-speed rail link from Medina to La Mecca, and for other alleged offenses including corruption, obstruction of justice, influence, trafficking and tax evasion. But in October, prosecutors announced they planned to suspend those investigations.
From Switzerland to Nassau: the “donation” of 64.8 million euros. Larsen used a shell company called Solare to receive the 64.8 million euros that Juan Carlos I transferred to him “irrevocably” in June 2012. The funds were sent to Nassau, Bahamas, from an account belonging to at the Panamanian Lucum Foundation at Mirabaud. & Cie bank in Geneva. The money was deposited into an account in Solare’s name at the Gonet & Cie bank.
In a statement made to Bertossa, and which was reported by this newspaper, Larsen said that she and Canónica “have decided to open an account in Gonet Bahamas. The decision was made as I usually visit the Bahamas and enjoy this place. Being a resident of Monaco, I could open an account wherever I wanted without any tax consequences. I think it’s best not to put all the assets in one place. The banker Gonet clarified that it was Larsen who had requested the opening of the account in the Bahamas, while the businesswoman claims that it was him.
A 14 million euro mansion in the countryside on behalf of the Jade Trust, a Panamanian foundation. In 2015, three years after receiving the 64.8 million euros from Juan Carlos I, Larson purchased Chyknell Hall Estate, an 81-hectare property with 11 bedrooms, a library and a cricket ground in Bridgnorth, located in the English county of Shropshire. The mansion is in the name of the Jade Trust, a Panamanian foundation whose beneficiary is Alexander, the consultant’s son, who was then 13 years old.
“I acquired this mansion through a trust whose beneficiary was my son,” Larsen told the Swiss prosecutor. “I opted for a structure like this one because I calculated that my son, once of age, would not have sufficient maturity to manage this property.
Foundations make it possible to conceal the identity of the beneficiaries of the funds they administer. The purchase of this house was made via a loan from Solare, Larsen’s company which received the “gift” from Juan Carlos I, the one which benefited Honeybird Corporation, another Panamanian company owned by Larsen.
Chyknell Hall Estate, which was built in 1814, cost 6 million euros, and Larsen invested an additional 7 million euros in renovations.
Mountain Lion Inc., a company used to register land donated by the King of Morocco. The former lover of the King Emeritus created this company so that she could put land in Marrakech in his name. This territory was, according to her, a gift from the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI. As on other occasions, the creator of the offshore structure was the Swiss lawyer Dante Canónica, the director of the Panamanian foundation behind which hid the fortune of Juan Carlos I in Geneva. Canónica has also been named as a suspect in money laundering offenses.
“It is a gift from the King of Morocco,” Larsen told the public prosecutor. “It was a gift for me, not in favor of Juan Carlos I. I visited the King of Morocco to thank him for his gift. He was hoping that I would build a house on the land… And he decided to give me this land to invest in, ”Larsen told the prosecutor. In 2015, however, she offered a contradictory version of events to controversial former police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo.
Siam Partners SA, a company used to buy two apartments in a Swiss ski resort by Larsen and Juan Carlos I. To acquire two apartments which cost around four million Swiss francs (3.7 million euros), Larsen created the company Siam Partners SA In 2009, this company received “loans” from Juan Carlos I, via his foundation Panamanian Lucum, for 2,199,000 Swiss francs (€ 2.1 million), which the consultant claimed to have returned “with interest”.
Larsen explained the transactions to the Swiss prosecutor: “I created this company to receive a loan from Juan Carlos I which was intended for the purchase of two houses in Villars. I already had an apartment there. At that time, in 2009, my son was studying at Aiglon College boarding school. The apartment had three rooms. It was perfect for my mom, my son and me. At that time, Juan Carlos I went to Villars a lot. The apartment was very small to receive it. We decided to buy two apartments in the same building. I funded about 50% of it myself. The other half was provided by Juan Carlos I via loans from Siam Partners SA ”
The consultant said she had no information about Calden, another shell company set up by Canónica, which signed the contracts for the alleged loans.
Shortly after the repayment, in December 2010, Larsen received $ 5 million (4.3 million euros) in his Swiss bank account at Mirabaud & Cie, from the Kuwaiti government. The payment took place after the then king’s visit to the country. Larsen attributed this payment to her work as a consultant. Luc Theenoz, representative of the bank, affirms that the deposit was justified “by a letter more than a contract”.
Larsen’s £ 10million London home on behalf of a British Virgin Islands company. On this occasion, the architects of the opaque structure of Larsen chose this tax haven, located in the Caribbean. They created a company called Riverhouse Partner, under the direction of Geneva lawyer Turrettini and with Larsen as owner. The aim of the firm was to open an account with Mirabaud & Cie. It was used to buy the house in Eaton Square where the consultant lives.
The property cost £ 5million (€ 5.8million), while an additional £ 4million (€ 4.6million) was spent on renovations. Again, Juan Carlos I was involved in the purchase. “It is true that Juan Carlos I participated in the financing of the acquisition of this house for more than 1.5 million pounds sterling [€1.7 million]. It was a donation from him in my favor, ”Larsen told Bertossa. The funds used for the purchase came from Gulf Development, another of Larsen’s companies which was located in the Cayman Islands, another tax haven.
A company in the Seychelles with Mexican businessman Allen Sanginés-Krause, friend of the King Emeritus. In this tax haven – which has just been removed from the European Union’s blacklist – Larsen and Allen Sanginés-Kraus created Fortuna Ventures Ltd., in 2008. The consultant did so through her company Apollonia Holdings, and Juan Carlos’ friend used his company Montpascal Holdings. . The Supreme Court is investigating the King Emeritus for using credit cards provided to him by this businessman.
A year later, Larsen created Apollonia Holdings GMBH in the Seychelles. It did so through the Panamanian law firm Alcogal, which has established companies for thousands of tax-evading people around the world. Since 2004, Juan Carlos’ former lover has been mediating in international affairs through another of his companies, Apollonia Associates, with an office in Monaco.
A trust in New Zealand to receive money from Spanish Saudi Investment Fund. In 2007, Larsen made plans for the managers in New Zealand of a trust in his name, called Peregrine, to turn over to Juan Carlos I “30% of the income of the Spanish Saudi Investment Fund” in the event of his death. . . This fund had been sponsored by Juan Carlos and Larsen had worked for him. Larsen’s lawyer claims the documents showing this plan are false.
Another company called Peregrine 55, a subsidiary of Peregrine, is also linked to the consultant. The Panamanian law firm Alcogal is linked to both.