By Eloise Horsfield
A COUPLE whose lawyer was incredibly NOT struck off despite stealing €22,000 from them has thanked the Olive Press for helping them get the case reopened.
We exposed crooked lawyer Samuel Huesca Triano last year, after he stole the money from Aranza Munoz, 44, and husband Jose Luis in 2007.
We revealed how the Axarquia-based lawyer had failed to return the money they had given to him to pay the tax authorities for their house in the Lecrin Valley.
It led to them not only having to pay the bill again, but also receiving a hefty fine.
Triano was later found guilty of misappropriation of clients’ funds and in 2009 was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
But the couple never got their money back and to their horror, regulatory body Malaga Law Society refused to strike Triano off – at which point they came to the Olive Press.
We began investigating and, in part, thanks to an article published in January, the Law Society has agreed to reopen the case.
While the body had initially told us it did not believe there were grounds to strike him off, it has now changed its tune.
In a document seen by the Olive Press, the society will now take disciplinary proceedings against the lawyer, based in Rincon de la Victoria.
He is now facing a ban of between three months to two years.
Marbella lawyer Antonio Flores of Lawbird described the reopening of the case as a ‘big coup’ although he said he was ‘amazed’ Triano was not facing a life ban.
“It is amazing that the society did not do this in the first place and it is great that through the perseverence of the couple and the Olive Press this case has stayed in the public eye.”
Victim Munoz added: “I am so happy that the Olive Press has been so supportive in our case.
“If it wasn’t for your paper Samuel would have been allowed to get away with what he did to us,” added Munoz, who was born in Australia to Spanish parents.
“My husband and I were heavily fined by the Inland Revenue because of Samuel and he has not paid back the money he stole from us.
“We have had no justice until now.
“Malaga Law Society has been an appalling regulator, but at least it has now re-opened the file against him.
“It’s not good enough but at least it is something.”