PYRAMID scheme worth €4million brought down in Guardamar del Segura on Spain’s Costa Blanca
The Guardia Civil have brought down a multi-million euro international pyramid scheme whose leader posed as a millionaire heiress to former dictator Franco at the operation centre in the Costa Blanca’s Guardamar del Segura. Nicknamed ‘Operation 2020’ by local cops, the scammers operated in Madrid, Barcelona, Tarragona and Alicante, as well as countries in Europe such as the Czech Republic and Sweden.
The group operated as a law firm which offered hugely discounted property to investors; potential victims would have to pay between €20,000 and €40,000 upfront to secure the property without ever seeing it; needless to say, they never received the deeds to their dream homes. Ten people have so far been arrested in the Alicante area and their bank accounts frozen; officers also seized €60,000 in cash and €50,000 in jewellery in a search of eight houses.
The leader of the criminal gang was a 50-year-old Spanish woman who claimed to be the illegitimate daughter of former Spanish dictator Franco, and gained allegiance by convincing her followers she was heiress to a fortune. Several lawyers worked for her in the law offices in Guardamar, where no other cases were handled other than those associated with the pyramid scheme. A number of luxury vehicles and high-end security equipment were also discovered at the leaser’s home.
Those arrested have been charged with misappropriation of funds, money laundering, document falsification and belonging to a criminal organisation.
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