Monday, October 2, 2023

Leonidas Vial’s appeal remains “under investigation” after eight years

On December 3, 2015 Leonidas vial Echeverría and the broker LarrainVial were informed that the 29th Civil Court of Santiago had accepted their claims to the fines imposed on them by the Securities and Insurance Regulatory Authority (SVS, now Financial Market Commission, CMF) in September 2014 under the law Cascadas -Case. In view of this decision, the then SVS, represented by the State Defense Council (CDE), appealed to the Court of Appeal against the cancellation of the fine.

It is important to remember that in September 2014, in connection with the completion of the investigation into the “cascades”, the SVS tried to impose the largest fine in its history, a total of 4,010,000 UF. This came after minority shareholders of SQM terminated a share purchase plan in favor of the majority shareholder. The biggest sanction hit this shareholder, Julio Ponce Lerou former son-in-law of Pinochet, for an amount of UF 1,700,000.

Larrain Vial, Vial Echeverría’s stockbroker, was identified as part of the transaction plan in question. However, most of the court battles that León Vial was involved in to avert the consequences of the case ended in his favor. More than eight years have passed since then and there is still no verdict that ends the trial.

However, a document dated August 28 issued by the Court of Appeal and reported by the media interference points out that “the present case, in accordance with Article 82 of the Organic Rules of Court stays in the course for the maximum amount of time in front of the seventh chamber of the Iltma. Court of Appeal of Santiago presided over by the Minister Mr. Antonio Ulloa Márquez and integrated by the Minister (S) Carlos Escobar Salazar and the Member Prosecutor Mr. Euclides Ortega Duclercq”.

The judiciary has not responded to press inquiries about the status of the case and the upcoming sentencing. However, sources familiar with the case have informed the above-mentioned media that this is a situation on which ministers have not yet reached an agreement. “If any of the members of the Court needs to examine in more detail the matter to be decided, the debate shall be suspended and a period not exceeding thirty days shall be set to return to discussion and agreement.” establishes Article 82 of the Organic Rules of Court.

So far, Leonidas Vial has only achieved positive results. The first of these occurred in 2017, when the proceedings were suspended following an inapplicability complaint filed by him before the Constitutional Court (TC), which referred to a regulation invoked by the SVS in the sanctioning process, which resulted in a fine worth millions of euros. The TC’s decision was a success, as that court ruled in favor of Vial in mid-2018, which in practice means that even if the CDE wins the protective appeal, the fine cannot exceed $646,000, much less than the original $20 million US dollars imposed by the SVS.

After the case was reopened at the end of 2018, a series of seven steps and circumstances arose that delayed the hearing of the case until now. The cases of Larraín Vial SA, Leonidas Vial and their former executives have been combined into one; There has been a long controversy surrounding a witness call for Joaquín Cortez, director of the Financial Markets Commission (formerly SVS); The hearing of the case was suspended several times at the mutual request of the lawyers of all parties; the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred; no rapporteur was appointed; Arguments were announced and then suspended, and here too, on more than one occasion, no rapporteur was appointed.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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