Jose Maria Ruiz Mateos
- Category : 1931-births
- Type : PM
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Clarion 1
Spanish businessman, politician, serial fraudster and convicted felon.
He began by exporting wine to England. He founded the conglomerate Rumasa and had a lot of influence in Spanish society. In 1983, the government of Spain (the Socialist Party was in office at the time and led by Felipe González) expropriated the company. The government alleged that Rumasa had failed to pay millions of dollars in mandatory taxes to the national treasury. He sued the government for compensation, but has yet to win in court.
He was imprisoned on charges of currency smuggling, fraud and tax evasion. After several years in jail, he went back into public life, became the owner of the Rayo Vallecano football (soccer) team in 1991, and formed his own political party, as part of which he was elected to the European Parliament in 1989. He also founded a new holding company, New Rumasa (16,000 employees). Ruíz Mateos was acquitted in 1999 by the Spanish Supreme Court.
Ruíz Mateos was the father of 13 children.
On 17 February 2011 the ten largest companies within the Nueva Rumasa group were declared in default and unable to make payments to their creditors after the Spanish Social Security, Royal Bank of Scotland and others requested that liens be placed on the companies' assets, nearly twenty-eight years to the day on which his original holding company, Rumasa, was expropriated by the Spanish government.
He died on 7 September 2015.