Se­rial fraud­ster Dun­can But­tigieg in court again

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Se­rial fraud­ster Dun­can But­tigieg was in court again yes­ter­day on charges re­lat­ing to fraud and mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion re­sult­ing in an ef­fec­tive six-year prison sen­tence be­ing added on to his al­ready lengthy list of con­vic­tions.

The case sur­rounds a se­ries of re­ports re­gard­ing fraud and mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion, as well as theft and fal­si­fied cheques.

He paid for a high value Rolex watch with a cheque which bounced, pro­ceed­ing to sell it on­line; took a sub­stan­tial amount of funds from a third party as a de­posit for a ve­hi­cle that was meant to be im­ported from Ja­pan, yet the ve­hi­cle was never de­liv­ered; forged a sig­na­ture of a stolen cheque; stole a VAT re­ceipt book; was found to be in pos­ses­sion of items in con­nec­tion with fraud; made use of false doc­u­ments; and re­laps­ing.

Re­gard­ing the watch, po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions which com­menced in Oc­to­ber re­vealed that But­tigieg used his former girl­friend’s cheque­book, which he had stolen, to pay €5,000 for the Rolex. The cheque bounced.

Just two hours later, But­tigieg sold the watch to An­drea Sci­cluna Calleja, telling him it was an un­wanted gift and that he re­quired the money for his sixyear-old son who was be­ing treated for stom­ach can­cer.

The two ne­go­ti­ated a €2,000 price, and Sci­cluna Calleja paid in cash. Shortly af­ter, Sci­cluna Calleja found a re­ceipt, and see­ing it had been pur­chased only two hours ear­lier, he con­tacted Rolex’s agent manag­ing direc­tor.

When the po­lice raided But­tigieg’s res­i­dence, they found fal­si­fied qual­i­fi­ca­tion cer­tifi­cates say­ing he was a jour­nal­ist, when this was not true. The ac­cused ad­mit­ted to all the charges early on in the case, and from proof pre­sented to the court, the Court found that there was ab­so­lutely no doubt of his guilt.

Mag­is­trate Au­drey Demi­coli found him guilty of all charges. The court said that the ac­cused had am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­form him­self, “how­ever it seems that the ac­cused does not know how to make use of these op­por­tu­ni­ties, and in fact con­tin­ued his crim­i­nal be­hav­iour.

“While con­sid­er­ing his guilty plea, the court finds no al­ter­na­tive but to im­pose an ef­fec­tive prison sen­tence, and not the min­i­mum as re­quested by the de­fence, but rather closer to the max­i­mum penalty”.

He was sen­tenced to six years im­pris­on­ment.

This was not the first time But­tigieg was in court. He was found guilty on ac­cu­sa­tions of fraud and was sen­tenced to nine years im­pris­on­ment af­ter ad­mit­ting to de­fraud­ing 100 per­sons by tak­ing de­posits on a car he had to im­port amount­ing to €120,000, with the ve­hi­cles never ar­riv­ing.

He was also sen­tenced to two years im­pris­on­ment for tak­ing de­posits from 12-per­sons on farm­house rent, when the farm­house did not be­long to him.

He was also given three­months pro­ba­tion for pre­tend­ing to be a doc­tor, hand­ing out pre­scrip­tions to two pa­tients.

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