Spain Judge Orders Jail for Ex-Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa

A Spanish judge ordered that Miguel Blesa, the former chairman of Caja Madrid, be put in jail amid a probe into alleged irregularities relating to the lender’s purchase of a bank in the U.S.

A Madrid regional court judge set Blesa’s bail at 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million), according to an e-mailed statement from the court today.

Judge Elpidio Silva said Blesa, 65, should be detained as he investigates Caja Madrid’s purchase of City National Bank of Florida in 2008 in a deal valued at more than $900 million.

Caja Madrid merged with Bancaja and five other savings banks in 2010 to form Bankia (BKIA), a banking group that needed a 22 billion-euro rescue last year that forced Spain to seek bailout funds from Europe to salvage its banking industry.

Blesa’s lawyer Carlos Aguilar didn’t immediately to respond to a phone message left by Bloomberg News today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at; Ben Sills in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.