Ex-Chairman of Spanish Bank Is Found Dead of a Gunshot Wound

Mr. Blesa, a former official in Spain’s Economy Ministry, became chairman of Caja Madrid in 1996. He held the position until 2010, when he was replaced by Rodrigo Rato, a former managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Rato led the Bankia merger.

The pair were among dozens of executives sentenced for fraud in February for making unlawful credit card purchases that totaled 12.5 million euros, or about $14.4 million, over a decade.

In its February ruling, the court highlighted Mr. Blesa’s role as the architect of the fraudulent corporate credit card scheme that Mr. Rato then extended when he took over at Caja Madrid.

The cards were used for personal purchases, including clothing, restaurants and travel, as well as cash withdrawals. Some were also used to pay for golf, seats at a bullring and private parties.

At the time, the prosecution said Mr. Blesa had spent €436,700 with his corporate cards. He eventually reimbursed the amount.

The court said that Mr. Rato not only benefited personally but also maintained “the same dynamic in every aspect” as Mr. Blesa in terms of rewarding people connected to the bank with such corporate cards.

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