LUCKY builder David Marjaliza won a total of €275,000 on eight separate winning lottery tickets within 16 months. Or so he would have the tax office believe!
In fact, what police discovered after an investigation into the businessman’s fortunate lucky streak, was that he was laundering money. David Marjaliza was one of some 50 people, (including six mayors from the Madrid area) who were arrested last October suspected of forming a political corruption ring where €250 million was handed out in fake contracts.
According to the tax office, laundering money through lottery prizes is a common and simple operation. This is normally done by the fraudster obtaining the identity and contact details of a winner from the lottery office, then simply offering to buy the winning ticket from them, (in cash) for more than its worth.
While Marjaliza remains in custody pending further investigation, His case has brought to light the fact that the problem may be more widespread than the authorities initially believed. Apart from the 50 arrested with him, it would appear Carlos Fabra, a former Popular Party leader in Castellón Province, who is currently serving a prison sentence for tax fraud, also won major prizes in Spain’s ‘El Gordo’ Christmas lottery on several occasions.