Spanish lawyer faces court over expats’ missing millions

LAST UPDATED: 9 May, 2011 @ 15:40
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Spanish lawyer faces court over expats’ missing millions

A LAWYER who may have defrauded over 100 expats has finally been arrested.

Jose Luis Garcia Maseda, 68, who the Olive Press exposed in 2009, was seized as he left his home near Malaga yesterday.

He is being questioned over the alleged fraud that saw him take millions of euros from a string of clients the majority of whom are British.

He is due in court in Torremolinos today to discover whether he is eligible for bail.

His arrest comes after a joint action involving dozens of expats scattered around Andalucia.

Lawyer Juan Carlos Carrasco García led the case on behalf of the group who are trying to reclaim an estimated 20 million euros of their money.

Confirming the arrest, he said: “This is the culmination of years of hard work and is great news for my clients.

“It is an important case in the fight against the corruption that exists on the Costa del Sol.”

The Olive Press first reported in November 2009 how Maseda, who claimed to be a lawyer, financial consultant and tax advisor, convinced hundreds of clients to invest their money from his Eurobrokers office, in Arroyo de la Miel.

In many cases he even persuaded his victims to sign over power of attorney which enabled him to take out massive mortgages in their names.

A detective at Benalmadena Police explained: “As the investigation has gone on, more and more people have come forward saying they have lost money, and Masada’s name is mentioned.”

Most peoples’ accounts are similar, with smooth-talking Maseda having been recommended to them via a series of third parties, or even local banks.

Billed as the key to getting a licence, buying a house, or successfully investing money, they were usually taken in by his excellent English and confident manner.

The Olive Press spoke to around two dozen expatriates, some of whom now claim to be facing financial ruin.

One client, from London, claimed he is owed 80,000 euros after investing the money in the controversial Valle Rosario del Golf development, near Antequera, through Maseda five years ago.

Another expatriate handed Maseda 75,600 euros for the same golf development in which “not one brick was laid”.

Maseda, who was born in Madrid, disappeared in 2009, but was tracked down to an exclusive estate near Malaga by the Olive Press last year.

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