Saturday, June 25

Ten arrested in Guardamar and Elche for a real estate scam of four million to more than one hundred people

Image of one of the records of the Civil Guard operation.

Image of one of the records of the Civil Guard operation.

The Civil Guard has stopped at Guardamar and Elche ten people and investigated two others on charges of defrauding more than four millions of euros to more than a hundred people who were cheated with the sale of homes offered at a quarter of their market value, a fraud that researchers have classified as a “pyramid scam”. The leader of the group was a 50-year-old “historical con artist” posing as illegitimate daughter of Franco or the King Emeritus and she told them that she was an heir to great fortunes to gain the trust of her circle of close friends and thus attract new victims. The woman, who suffers from a physical handicap and travels in a wheelchair, has entered prison and had previously been convicted of other scams in which she posed as the illegitimate daughter of the King Emeritus.

The one baptized as “Opportunity 2020” operation has allowed 60,000 euros in cash, jewels valued at 50,000 euros, two high-end vehicles and a large number of technological devices to intervene in the registries, in addition to blocking ten bank accounts used by the organization to launder the benefits they made. In fact, in the eight months that the plot had been operating in the province of Alicante, almost a million and a half euros were laundered through bank transfers.

The dismantled group operated in the provinces of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Tarragona and Alicante, as well as in several European countries such as Czech Republic and Sweden.

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The organization’s operations center was in Guardamar del Segura, where a law firm was the cover to materialize the scam.

According to the Civil Guard, the group searched the internet for real estate properties and offered them to investors as “a bargain, at approximately 20% of their market value.” Those interested had to formalize a reservation immediately, without even visiting the property.

Once a victim had been captured, the criminal group formalized the reservation of the property with the real estate or developer that was actually advertising the sale, to guarantee temporary ownership, while the scammed paid them the total property immediately.

The supposed price of the houses ranged between 25,000 and 40,000 euros and when the scammers charged, the acquisition of the property did not materialize and they disappeared without returning to the victim what he had paid them. To avoid being located, they used fictitious identities or usurped third parties to commit different crimes.

The leader of the group has a long history for more than two decades and has already served a prison sentence for previous scams. This woman, who suffers from a physical handicap for which she needs to use a wheelchair and is dependent, posed as the illegitimate daughter of Franco or the King Emeritus, in such a way that “she earned the appreciation and compassion of her friends and acquaintances to capture her victims, to whom she told that she is the heir to great fortunes. ”

The scammers had a high lifestyle and had more than fifteen employees who performed all kinds of personal services for her.

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In the houses occupied by the main members of the gang, they had installed an important security and surveillance system, including in some houses the presence of guard dogs of potentially dangerous breeds.

The scammed buyers paid the majority with cash and part of the profits were used by the network to acquire high jewelry and other luxury objects. Among those injured is a jewelry store which, using the Nazarene scam method, the gang had swindled more than 20,000 euros.

The personnel employed in the service of the members of the organization received salaries of 4,000 euros per month. However, even they were scammed, even asking for loans to buy some of the homes on offer.

The operation has been coordinated by the Torrevieja Examining Court and carried out by agents of the Civil Guard of the Alicante Command.

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