An Italian man has been arrested by the Judiciary Police, on suspicion of cheating hundreds of investors in a pyramid scheme. Fleeing a conviction in Spain, the man fraudulently sold financial investments with guaranteed interest of 7% in the Algarve from offices located in Faro and Loulé.
The guaranteed income promise was sold via four offices in the Algarve, DAX Portugal. They offered a financial product allegedly associated with a Spanish brokerage, with a minimum investment of 5,000 euros, annual premium and a three-year interest, far above that practiced by the sector.
The scheme had started in 2018, but it was only this year that the insurance and pension fund supervisory authority banned the company from selling its product. With the scheme under investigation, employees then began to get suspicious recently when they were left two months behind in their salaries.
The Italian businessman, owner of the expanding chain of stores, was arrested when Judiciary Police burst in to his offices on Friday. He has been accused of aggravated fraud, document falsification, money laundering and illegal practice of insurance operations.
The 48-year-old man, residing in Almancil, had already escaped a 18 month prison sentence in Spain, for impersonating a doctor.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/