HOPE FOR PROPERTY FRAUD VICTIMS
VICTIMS of a €4 million Costa Blanca property scam plan a court action against Spanish banks who failed to guarantee deposits in off-plan purchases.
British couple Richard and Pauline Pope lost a total of €90,000, cash they believed would help buy their new home in Alcalali - and are now planning an action against Bankinter.
They allege the bank should have guaranteed the funds under Spanish law – a position upheld by the Supreme Court - and ensured the cash was only used for building the new home.
And they invite other people who lost their deposits in the fraud – more than 60 were paid to Construcciones Monte Puchol SL – will contact them to support their case brought under Ley 57/1968.
In December 2011, builders Peter and Benjamin Schmidt were jailed for two years at an Alicante court and ordered to repay another British couple, Keith and Marilyn Brown, a €66,000 deposit.
Despite assuring the Browns building licences were in place, permission to develop was never issued because the site was rustic land.
Richard and Pauline also won a case against the Schmidt’s, who ran the building company, but because the pair was bankrupt; never received compensation.
However, since the case was decided, top judges have ruled banks are responsible for protecting off plan purchasers and legal firms are helping losers on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.
“We are looking to contact anyone who made transfers or deposits into bank accounts belonging to Construc- ciones Monte Puchol; it could be with any bank, although we dealt with Bankinter,” said Pauline. “It was a real web of deceit and the homes were never built.”
Richard added: “We know there are other people out there who have also gone through this and we are desperate to trace them, we just don’t know how to contact them.”
They had nearly completed the ‘purchase’ of 12, Angle Tower, Alcalali, but never paid the final €30,000 in 2003.
Pauline said: “We were supposed to come here from the Isle of Man and be mortgage free, have savings and if we could find some work, it would be a bonus.
“Unfortunately, it never happened. It’s been one fight and in and out of the courts for 14 years. When we came out in 2004, the town hall said it was a conservation area.”
Richard said: “Basically, they robbed us of €90,000. We won our case in court but they were bankrupt and we never got anything back.”
Anyone who can help Richard and Pauline is asked to call 672 960 547 or email@example.com.