Prison for property conmen


TWO fraudsters were found guilty by the Malaga high court of swindling foreign investors out of more than €1 million.

-- Advertisement --

Each received a three-and-a-half year prison term and was fined €9,000.

The men, one of whom is a lawyer, attracted clients for fictional property deals with promises of returns of up to 20 per cent on their investment.

They also promised to hand over properties on the Costa del Sol or shares in non-existent companies if they failed to return the original investment within the agreed time limit.

To gain the confidence of their targets, the two men claimed to have a $1 million reserve fund and properties in Estepona as well as the Bahamas, Venezuela and Macanao.

In a textbook example of a Ponzi scheme, the two accused initially paid the agreed amounts of interest when due.

Encouraged by the apparent success of the enterprise, new clients were happy to put up money, unaware that it was then used to pay earlier investors.

In reality, the men owned no properties, the Tribunal concluded, apart from land in Estepona acquired in 2000 with the intention of constructing 22 homes.  No more than one licence was granted and no applications were made for others.

Only one man was in court and his accomplice, whose whereabouts are unknown, was judged in his absence.  Both were granted leave to appeal.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here