Former boss of Parque Animal is now accused of misappropriation of funds

Marín, who was recently found guilty of ill-treating animals, leaving the court building.
Marín, who was recently found guilty of ill-treating animals, leaving the court building. / A.G.
  • A judge in Torremolinos has found indications that Carmen Marín and her family used the association's funds for personal purposes

The former head of the 'Parque Animal' animal protection centre in Torremolinos, Carmen Marín, who has already been found guilty of ill-treating animals and faking documentation, may soon be facing a new trial in Malaga's courts.

She is alleged to have used the association's funds for personal purposes, including 104,382 euros to modernise and decorate a cosmetic beauty clinic owned by one of her daughters, and also to adapt the lift in one of the buildings she owns.

According to a notification sent from a judge in Torremolinos to the official prosecution authorities and private prosecution in this case, Carmen Marín used money from the animal rescue centre, which received tens of thousands of euros from Torremolinos council in the form of grants and to finance the incineration of animals, in a well-known supermarket, a car hire firm and a major wholesale store.

The bank accounts of Parque Animal, which is registered as a non-profit-making organisation, were also allegedly used by Marín and her family to pay for a course of driving lessons, monthly gymnasium membership and a security system for a private home.

The judge also considers that there is evidence to indicate that Carmen Marín paid for stays in luxury hotels in Marbella, Lisbon, Salamanca, Nerja, Bilbao, Jerez de la Frontera, Marrakesh, Boston and St. Petersburg, and that all these costs, which amounted to thousands of euros, were charged to the current accounts of the animal protection centre in Torremolinos.

The judge also says it looks as if the association's president used the funds to pay more than 11,000 euros in restaurants between 2008 and 2010.

According to the judge, Carmen Marín wrote cheques for more than 23,000 euros from the animal protection centre's accounts and Felipe Barco, her right-hand man, who has also been found guilty of ill-treating animals, used the charity's funds to buy a Nissan pick-up. Marín is also said to have bought a Citroën C3 worth 14,490 euros in the name of her daughter.

In the notification to the prosecutors, the judge explains that these deeds could indicate misappropriation of funds, and she has asked them to draw up a formal request for further investigation to be carried out.

She has also found evidence of possible fraud in the renting of premises ceded by the town hall to a third party.