By Rob Horgan and Caitlin Quinn
A BRITISH expat is facing bankruptcy after a bank dished out €52,000 of her money to a fraudster.
Louise Reardon, 74, is now struggling to pay her mortgage and fears she will be left homeless despite winning an eight-year legal tussle with Cajamar.
The bank was found guilty of negligence by Almeria’s penal court in May for cashing four fraudulent cheques, signed by a ‘friend’ of Reardon in 2007.
Despite being ruled ‘responsible’ by the judge, Cajamar is refusing to pay, insisting it is ‘not obligated to repay the money’.
It comes despite the crook – fellow Brit Roy de Gannes, 61 – being convicted of fraud and given a two-and-a-half year prison sentence at the same hearing.
He fraudulently cashed four cheques to the full amount, after stealing blank cheques from Reardon’s chequebook.
The forged signatures, seen by the Olive Press, certainly look nothing like Reardon’s signature on record at the bank.
But because de Gannes now insists he is bankrupt and can’t pay back the money, Reardon is being forced to take the bank through the civil courts.
“This whole episode has been absolutely heartbreaking,” Reardon, originally from Surrey, told the Olive Press.
“They gave my money away without my permission and now they are taking my life away too.”
The expat, who has lived in Almeria since 2005, added: “I can’t believe that after an eight-year battle the bank is still not accepting responsibility.”
A spokesman for the bank confirmed the sentence, but insisted it was not required to cough up unless a civil court ruled in her favour. Incredibly, Reardon has a €160,000 mortgage left with Cajamar, but has no money to pay it.
Extended last year until she is 95, she believes she will never see justice, and will soon be forced to leave the home due to defaulting on payments.
While friends and family have supported her up until now, she has now solicited the help of consumer group FACUA to help recoup her money.
Poor woman. These Spanish banks are the biggest crooks out there and a law completely to themselves.
This is an absolute disgrace the Cajamar bank should be ashamed, I know this woman and she has politely tried and tried to get them to put her money back for eight years, enough is enough they should now be made to fully comensate her with interest.
I am a close friend of This Lady and have been for 45 years ! And the way she has been treated by the Bank and the Courts is beyond my belief! Eight years is far too long for her to be still waiting for some kind of result! Closure and Her money given back ! She put her life savings into This Bank on trust that it would be Safe? How much longer does she have to wait? Something is not right! It’s Disgusting the way she has been treated!………
shame on the bank, if a high value cheque was written by me my bank would phone me to double check. What is their policy???
sounds like corrupt scoundrels keep fighting Louise go girl go x
As a British citizen just what will the Bullingdon boys do to make sure she gets justice – absolutely sweet f/a – she’s not one of them.
thankyou all for your comments and support I will fight till the bitter end!