The Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) has questioned that the material contributed by Podemos to the Court of Instruction Number 42 of Madrid as work carried out by Neurona for the 2019 general elections is actually the work of this political consultant, according to a report sent Judge Juan José Escalonilla, who suspects that the contract between the company and the party could have been simulated to divert money from the party’s electoral account.
The judge of the ‘Neurona case’ files the investigation into the alleged bonuses in Podemos- Advertisement -
The UDEF, as requested by the instructor of the ‘Neurona case’, has analyzed the documentation provided by Podemos to determine if there is any correspondence between the services that appear as provided in the invoices that have also been incorporated into the cause and the content of the videos that the party attributes to the consultant.
The Police has concluded in its report, to which Europa Press has had access, that “in the vast majority of the analyzed files the author is unknown”, among which it has mentioned images used as a background for electoral posters for the 2019 electoral campaign , some of which have been located in open sources and are even copyrighted.
Researchers have highlighted that some files correspond to “captures or downloads of television programs”, one “is composed of a selection and copy of the text of a series of ‘tweets’ transferred to the document” without editing, while “others are files repeated several times “.
In those files where the UDEF has been able to locate their creators, “the identified authors have a close relationship to the United We Can political group, as is the case of Ángela Medialdea, Patricia Pinta or Javier Iváñez”, so it deduces that ” These are files whose authors would be unrelated to the company hired to carry out the work, Neurona Comunidad, or the subcontracted company, Creative Advice Interactive “.
“In the remaining authors identified, such as Vicente Camu or Waldemar Aguado Butanda, with the information to which this research group has had access, it has not been possible to verify any employment or contractual relationship with the winning company, Neurona Comunidad, which does not has any worker, or with the subcontractor, Creative Advice Interactive “, has added the UDEF.
In addition, it has indicated that “in the documentation provided there is no project, report, ‘dossier’ or log detailing the work carried out by the company”, although it is mentioned in the contract. Likewise, he has drawn attention to the fact that the Neurona or Creative logo or anagram does not appear either, “this extreme which contrasts with what can be observed in open sources regarding the Neurona Comunidad society, where its trademark can be distinguished. in the work carried out for other electoral campaigns, such as for the regional elections to the Madrid Assembly on May 26, 2019 “.
Out of date and with another “purpose”
On the other hand, the UDEF has observed that “some of the papers presented may not have been used for the pre-campaign and campaign of the general elections of April 28, 2019, since in the memory delivered there are files that do not correspond with the purpose of the contract, either because they are outside the time frame based on the date that appears in the file’s metadata, or because once its content has been viewed, it does not correspond to that purpose “.
Thus, one of the aspects analyzed has been the time frame of the files presented by Podemos to find out if they coincide with the validity of the contract with Neurona, which the UDEF places between February 27 and April 28, 2019. In this regard , has stated that “in some of the files the creation date that appears in the metadata is outside the established period”. “And, for that reason, the archives would not have that purpose, which should not be other than the general elections,” he illustrated.
Likewise, it has highlighted that, “based on rational indications”, “a large number of files do not fit the content of the contract purpose, since, once the product has been seen in its entirety, it seems to have another purpose than it is not that of the general elections. ”
In this sense, the UDEF has alluded to videos with “the headline or the closing of the pre-campaign / campaign to the elections to the Madrid Assembly on May 26”, images in which the ‘purple’ candidate appears in those elections, Isa Serra, “alone” —without the company of any member of Unidos Podemos who attended the 2019 general elections—, and even an advertising poster for the 2016 elections.
The UDEF has also questioned the Neurona invoices, pointing out that “the concepts they present are so generic that, on the part of this research group, it is not possible to determine a direct relationship between the contracted content and the invoiced ones.”
Specifically, he has put the magnifying glass on four invoices for a total of 3,190,550 Mexican pesos (about 130,548 euros) that one of the two Mexican partners of Neurona Comunidad, Andrea Edlin, ordered the administrator of the company, Elías Castejón, to pay Creative Advice for the services provided to Podemos.
In the first place, the UDEF has commented that “all are issued on April 26, 2019”, despite the fact that Edlin gave the payment order a day before, “an extreme that is understood as impossible, since he would be ordering and attaching some invoices that are emitted the following day “.
The investigators have specifically warned about one of the invoices, the one issued in the concept of ‘Management and management of social networks Facebook first semester 2019’, underlining that said statement “does not correspond to the purpose of the contract, since the time frame established for the provision of services is perfectly defined “, from February 27 to April 28, not the entire semester.
At this point, the UDEF wanted to emphasize that Neurona Comunidad —Spanish subsidiary of the Mexican company Neurona Consulting— “cannot be awarded some services since January 2019, since it was subsequently established on March 19.”
Finally, once again, the Police have alluded to the “disparity of dates” that appear in the contract, specifying that “electronic signatures are with dates after the end of the service and once the contract would already be expired” , a matter that the administrator of Neurona has attributed in his writings to mere errors.
The ‘Neuron case’
The core of this case, in which the alleged irregular financing of the party is being investigated, is the contract that Podemos signed with Neurona Comunidad for 363,000 euros for political consulting work for the 2019 general elections.
Throughout the investigation, Escalonilla has filed several matters that were included in the complaint filed in December 2019 by the former lawyer of Podemos José Manuel Calvente, from which the ‘Neurona’ case started, such as the electoral contracts with ABD, the works of the new headquarters of the party or the supposed bonuses. He also closed the investigation on the donations of the Solidarity Fund of political formation to related organizations but the Provincial Court has ordered it to reopen.
In addition, as a result of a brief presented by the former head of Normative Compliance of Podemos Mónica Carmona, Escalonilla has agreed to open independent procedures on the new facts denounced by it, among them the alleged use of a party employee and now an advisor to the Ministry of Equality as a babysitter for the children of the Minister, Irene Montero.