The Provincial Court of Madrid has sentenced Paco Sanz, known as the man with 2,000 tumors, to two years in prison as the perpetrator responsible for a continuing crime of fraud, as it transpired this Friday. The defendant had reached an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, after admitting that he cheated thousands of people by simulating a terminal illness. He managed to raise more than 264,780 euros from people, including several celebrities, who believed they were helping to pay for an experimental treatment in the United States. According to the police investigation, he used this money for purchases, travel and even a cruise. Of all that money, the sentence forces him to pay 36,978 euros to those affected.
The court also condemns Lucía Carmona, who was for a time Paco Sanz’s sentimental partner and also accused, to one year and nine months in prison. She and Sanz’s mother, María del Carmen González, liable for profit, “must also respond jointly and severally” with the almost 37,000 euros of compensation imposed by the sentence. The father was on trial, but died last May
Sanz was diagnosed with Cowden syndrome in 2009, which is a rare genetic disease, responsible for causing multiple non-cancerous tumors in various parts of the body, without any imminent life risk. The prosecutor says that the defendant, pretending that he had only a few months to live, managed to collect 264,780 euros in seven years by asking for financial aid through social networks and the media to try to get an experimental treatment in the United States. The defendant, who received a pension for absolute disability of 745.99 euros, hatched a plan to obtain an illicit capital gain between the years 2010 and February 2017. With messages such as “I do everything possible to save my life and the only one experimental option is in the United States. Thanks to people like you, I will be able to continue with the treatment, perhaps be cured, or even a cure may be found that can help others ”, he managed to move thousands of people, including comedian José Mota or television presenter Jorge Javier Vázquez, who contributed to spreading his cause.
During the trial, he told the court that to cure his disease, he traveled between 10 and 12 times to the United States for a clinical trial that had no medical costs. These trips cost between 6,000 and 8,000 euros per trip and, due to his low pension, he had to ask for help. “From family and friends I received between 8,000 and 10,000 euros, but I don’t know how much money I received from third parties,” he acknowledged. He also received 500 euros for a book that was published about his illness.
In order to further publicize his alleged condition, Sanz contacted various actors and television presenters, such as the comedian Santi Rodríguez, who organized a charity gala in Valencia on May 30, 2013, an event in which it was raised 3,000 euros in tickets. That same year the writer Miguel Hervás Abad published the book Paco Sanz, a life of dreams, a life of struggle, with the prologue and epilogue written by the youtuber Auronplay and former professional athlete Pedro García Aguado, respectively. Sales of the book amounted to 2,184 euros, with 364 copies sold.
Under the pretext of financing the alleged treatment, in 2010 he created a web page in which he exaggerated the symptoms of his disease, stating that he suffered from “genetic cancer”, or that he had “few months to live”. On that website, he posted messages like “I’m ashamed to ask for money.” It even gave the possibility of donating money by sending a solidarity SMS with a cost of 1.45 euros to the number 25600 with the Paco Word, or also the possibility of donating amounts through his PayPal account.
During the investigation, the police seized 17 videos in which it was seen how the accused made fun of his donors. The scammed people paid him money mostly by bank transfer. Sanz was arrested in La Pobla de Vallbona (Valencia) on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and misappropriation. In some scenes discarded from the recording, Sanz appears joking with the “oxygen in the piggy bank”, referring to the donations he received, or playing with a hospital probe with his mother dancing in the background.
36,978 euros of the 264,780 it raised
The magistrates force him to compensate those scammed for the amounts that have been credited and does not contemplate the profits that were no longer received, as was the case of Aguado. He claimed about 20,000 euros for the loss of money that he stopped entering when doing everything non-profit in favor of a false solidarity cause. “The existence and amount of lost profits must be proven. The frustrated or lost earnings must be presented with a certain consistency and, since they are hypothetical assumptions, the assessment of tests must start from the reasonable weighting of the probability that these would have taken place, not including events of credited futures called fortune dreams. ”, Sentence the magistrates. Therefore, they conclude that none of the victims who requested the return of this money no longer received have proven the earnings that did not enter, limiting themselves to making mere demonstrations without any support.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.