Veteran Spanish entertainer, Jose Luis Moreno, once considered ” Spain´s favourite ventrilquest,” and who was arrested in Madrid on June 29, is facing further investigation into the suspected fraud believed to amount to as much as €900 million.
The probe into the 74 year-old, named, Operation Titella, is now centering on money laundering and a network of international front companies as well as his own plans to flee Spain.
So far, the Spanish National Police have arrested around 50 people in connection with the fraud, which consisted of diverting funds and profits from TV shows and film production through a criminal network.
Moreno whose tv career took off in thr 1980s was also a TV producer and director, as well as enjoying frequent guest appearances on Spanish television .
Spanish broadcaster El Cuatro programme, Todo Es Verdad revealed that Moreno may have ‘hidden’ as much as €900 million and that he was preparing to flee the country – possibly for the Maldives.
The popular late night programme, which claimed to have had ” exclusive access” to the ongoing investigation, including police records, court documents and taped phone conversations.
Once such alluded to a fraud of 10 million Euros using a supposed coronavirus outbreak on a film set as an excuse to get additional funds to complete the production.
The show also revealed an email sent by an Argentian business associate of Moreno, Alejandro Roemmers, over a €32 million investment in a TV series that never materialised with the threat that he would be “willing to do anything if I feel cheated.”
In a separate development, former Partido Popular treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, revealed that in 1999, Moreno had handed over a million pesetas in cash in return for favours.