THE Spanish politician who claims to have won the lottery seven times in the last 10 years has begun a prison sentence for tax fraud.
Carlos Fabra – the man always seen behind a pair of shades – entered Aranjuez prison on Monday (December 1) after a decade-long legal battle.
He was found guilty on four counts of tax fraud worth nearly €700,000, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
The former head of the Castellon Popular Party was the man behind the infamous Castellon Airport, which never saw a single plane take off or land despite costing €150 million to construct. The ‘white elephant’ has become a symbol of the reckless spending during Spain’s boom years.
A self-proclaimed lottery addict, Fabra claims to have won the lottery on numerous occasions, including a €2 million-plus win in the 2008 El Gordo lottery. However, experts have argued that fake lottery wins are ideal ways of laundering money. The method is often to find a genuine winner and buy their ticket for cash.
Dogged by accusations of corruption for years, Fabra is rarely seen without his dark sunglasses, which he wears to hide an eye injury from a childhood accident.
Investigations into Fabra began when a businessman accused Fabra of charging him hefty fees in exchange for political favours. Although no substantial evidence was found to convict Fabra, the investigation unearthed the tax fraud that has resulted in him being jailed.