Seems to be the conclusion of a relatively long-running fraud/court case in Spain - there are numerous news report coming through - below seems a reasonably good overall explanation
Europa Press, Tuesday 7 March 2017 (via Google Translate)
Tribunal Supremo confirms convictions for swindling 39 million from hundreds of Jehovah's Witnesses
Three years in prison are imposed on those responsible for Rural New Life S.L. And Mutual Mas Vida
The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) has confirmed sentences of between 3 years and 3 ½ years in prison for four persons responsible for a pyramid scheme for 39 million euros to more than 1,300 people in Spain, hundreds of them belonging to The Jehovah's Witnesses religious congregation, between 1998 and 2002.
Investors were deceived through Rural New Life, SL, and Mutua Mas Vida, the latter an entity of an apparently caregiving nature committed to ensuring non-invasive healthcare that excluded blood transfusions in surgical interventions , A clinical treatment that bans that religion.
Juan Andrés Torrecillas Martínez, one of the founding partners of Rural New Life and former president of Mutua Mas Vida, and Diego Luna Sánchez, delegate of both entities in the area of Catalonia, who took advantage of his position Of 'elder' - a kind of shepherds - in the Jehovah's Witnesses to personally convince hundreds of parishioners to enter into investment contracts and insurance policies.
María Mercedes and María Nieves Torres Salado, the first legal director of the two entities, and the second foundress and former secretary of the Council of Mutua Mas Vida, were sentenced to 3 years in prison. The two were also designated executors executors of the founder and first president of Rural New Life, already deceased.
The Provincial Court of Barcelona issued on January 29, 2015 a sentence in which it established the convictions of the four men cited for a continued crime of fraud, an aggravated subtype of abuse of trust and with prejudice of a notorious importance, in contest with an offense of punishable insolvency .
THE CRIME IS CHANGED BUT THE PENALTIES ARE KEPT
Although the Supreme Court, partially considering the appeal of the two women, acquits for the crime of punishable insolvency, considering it consumed in the continued crime of fraud, maintains unalterable jail terms (3 years and 6 months for Torrecillas and Luna, and 3 Years for the aforementioned Torres Salado sisters).
According to proven facts of the Audiencia de Barcelona, the purpose of Rural New Life, based in Seville, was to attract private investors through a commercial network distributed throughout Spain, in order to have capital to buy Real estate, acquire stakes in other companies, and invest in stock market.
"However, the aforementioned accused decided - jointly and induced the spirit of unjust enrichment - to offer from 1999 as a decoy to future investors loan agreements (under the name Investment Plan and Plan Ahorro, henceforth PIN And PAN) in which a guaranteed return between 10 and 13 percent was recorded, despite being fully aware that the capital would not be invested in any specific good that would produce such high dividends. "
"Conscious that only with the entrance of new capitals (pyramid) could they face the obligations contracted, they established a network of branches (12 in all Spain)", to which they sent some leaflets of propaganda where those high interests were promised Without any risk of the capital invested, adds the resolution.
At the end of 1998, when many of the investors belonged to the Jehovah's Witnesses religious congregation as a result of the fact that the majority of area delegates were directors of the zone and offered the products PIN and PAN to the parishioners of their community , The first president of Rural Nee Wife (now deceased), another partner who is now in an unknown location, and Torrecillas, decided to expand and complete the fraudulent pyramid structure by founding Mutua MAS VIDA, an entity of an apparently caregiving nature that would serve to That the same investors already captured by Rural New Life SL, decided to acquire also shares as mutualists.
In return they were guaranteed not only non-invasive health care that excluded any possibility of blood transfusions in surgical operations, clinical treatment that bans that religion, but high interests of their economic contributions.
"In this way, thanks to the" blind faith "of the subscribers, the result was the sharing of the same religious ideal based on the immorality of every lie, which at the beginning of 2001 between the two entities already had almost 3,000 participants between investors and insured" , Indicates the sentence.
The Insurance Compensation Consortium reached an agreement with 1,312 insureds of Mutua Mas Vida for acquisition and subrogation for the value of 89.31% of each security or participation, worth 11 million euros.
The Consortium did not assume the credits corresponding to the commercial Rural NEW LIFE SL, since it was a private company for profit, and 27.9 million euros are still pending collection from investors.The judgment, as civil liability, condemns the four defendants to jointly and severally indemnify the persons affected and the Insurance Compensation Consortium for the amount swindled, declaring itself to be a subsidiary liability - not jointly as the Audiencia de Barcelona had said - the company Rural New Life with respect to its impaired investors.