The man who was Almería’s largest builder during the boom years, Antonio José Pérez, has been arrested for tax evasion. They couldn’t get him for running off with the deposits of hundreds of customers, but by gum – forget to file a tax return and they come down heavy.
Antonio was the founder of Obrascampo, a company that in 2007 was turning over 50 million euros a year and employed over a thousand people, building large urbanisations down in Almería. By 2009 his company was bust and hundreds of complaints were filed against him for having spent the deposits people had filed against their new homes, never to be completed.
Police swooped on Antonio, his accountant and his lawyer, and took all three down to the nick in the early hours of yesterday morning. The case has been declared secret, meaning the Judge involved hasn’t clarified the charges, but it seems the tax authorities have been investigating him for over a year.
In December 2008 several hundred customers who complained of having lost their deposits or advanced payments created an association and filed a joint complaint against Obrascampo in the courts. The arrests are believed to be unrelated to that case, and further arrests are expected to take place shortly.