The woman is a 50-year-old “historical con artist” who claimed to be heir to great fortunes to attract new victims
Nine other people have been arrested in the operation
The Civil Guard has arrested ten people in Guardamar and Elche and is investigating two others for defrauding over a hundred people who were cheated of more than four million euros following the sale of homes offered at a quarter of their value market, a fraud that is classified as a “pyramid scam.”
The leader of the group was a 50-year-old “historical con artist” who posed as the illegitimate daughter of Franco or the former King Juan Carlos. She told her victims that she was she was an heir to great fortunes in order to gain their trust.
According to the police she has already served a prison sentence for previous scams.
The woman, who suffers from a physical handicap and is confined to a wheelchair, is now in prison having previously been convicted of many other scams in which she posed as the illegitimate daughter of the King Emeritus. Ten bank accounts used by the organisation to launder their funds have now been blocked. In the eight months that the scam had been operating in the province of Alicante, almost a million and a half euros were laundered through bank transfers.
The police also seized 60,000 euros in cash, jewels valued at 50,000 euros, two high-end vehicles and a large number of high-tech devices.
The operations centre of the group was a solicitor’s office in Guardamar del Segura although it operated in the provinces of Madrid, Barcelona, Tarragona and Alicante, as well as in several European countries such as the Czech Republic and Sweden.
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 wishing to buy had to reserve the property immediately, without even paying it a visit.
Once a victim had been ‘hooked’, the criminal group reserved the property with the real estate agent or developer, to guarantee temporary ownership, while the victim paid them the total discounted price of property immediately.
The price of the houses ranged between 25,000 and 40,000 euros and when the scammers had their money, the acquisition of the property did not materialize and they disappeared.
The scammed buyers paid the majority with cash and part of the profits were then used by the network to acquire jewellery and other luxury objects.
The operation was coordinated by the Torrevieja Investigative Court and carried out by agents of the Civil Guard of the Alicante Command.