Now Ernesto Colman is behind bars, without bail, as a major investigation of his millions ensues.
Thirty-six luxury cars, a private jet, millions stashed in the tax havens of Luxembourg and Switzerland – Vitaldent owner Ernesto Colman certainly lived the high life until he was put in handcuffs this week.
Spanish National Police announced on Tuesday that they had arrested Colman and 12 other people for suspected money laundering and tax fraud with Vitaldent, a high street Spanish dental office chain that serviced the smiles of millions of patients.
Colman is alleged to have forced franchises to pay him 10 percent of their turnover – in cash, according to El Pais.
Police said that to avoid paying national taxes, Colman allegedly deposited earnings from franchises into banks in Switzerland and Luxembourg.
The funds were later reinvested in Spain through buying property, luxury cars and other extravagant items, as well as trading thoroughbred horses as a means to launder his earnings.
As part of police raids, officials seized 36 luxury cars, a private aircraft worth €1 million and 124 properties.
Colman and five others are being held in prison without bail, Europa Press reported on Thursday.
Así funcionaba la trama de #Vitaldent que presuntamente defraudó unos 10 millones a Hacienda https://t.co/QHMgun2Xg1 pic.twitter.com/cTJdBxNoXR
— Europa Press (@europapress) February 17, 2016
Officials said that Colman and his associates are suspected of defrauding franchises of more than €10 million.
Colman himself reportedly made €17.25 million a year, which he hid from the Spanish government, according to Europa Press.