A PUBLIC notary has shot himself after stealing an incredible €50 million from clients.
Pedro Romero Candau amassed vast quantities of business and personal debts – including €5.5 million on behalf of the University of Sevilla.
The university entrusted the millions – which it owed to construction company Ferrovial, after the construction of a new science faculty – to Romero in 2011.
But Romero shot himself in his car under Sevilla’s Centenario Bridge on March 4 this year – the day before he had agreed to produce the payment.
More than €45 million of additional debt have since been discovered – bringing his total debt to 10 times the previously recorded amount.
The debts include €10 million in client loans, €14 million in mortgages on his house and ranch, €5 million from personal creditors and €22 million that had accumulated on his chain of wineries.
A reputation for accountability allowed Romero to take out loans from a variety of banks without question.
His apparent credibility unbelievably allowed him to also act as his own guarantor when signing loans for his winery business.
The story has brought into question the credibility of notaries, who have been put in place to ensure the legality of financial transactions.
€5.5 million lost to a university and €10 million of client loans – the best person to look after your money is you, anyone who tells you different is looking to screw you – caveat emptor.
It’s terribly sad … but incredible someone could amass such debts. Isn’t it incredible what greed can do? Hopefully others might learn from this tragic tale, but I somehow doubt it.