AN embattled British gestor has hit back on social media, after the Olive Press revealed his involvement in an alleged fake padron fraud.
Expat Matthew Smith – who has just been made a ‘pedania mayor’ of Entre Naranjos in Orihuela – insists he has been totally exonerated after a police investigation.
The Olive Press exclusively revealed earlier this year how his admin company, One Way Services, was being probed after dozens of pensioners had their applications for residency status turned down over claims of fraud.
Many were left embarrassed and furious after being arrested and detained at Alicante police station.
Policia Nacional launched an investigation after many of the applications had included padrons that were allegedly faked by One Way Services, based in Ciudad Quesada.
After suffering the humiliation of arrest, a number of expats told the Olive Press they are planning legal action against Smith’s company, once the case has gone to court.
This comes despite Smith’s solicitor insisting none of the clients had anything to do with the fraud, and the investigation ‘should focus’ entirely on One Way Services.
Despite this, Smith has published his thoughts on the issue via an associate on social media, attacking the Olive Press for ‘scaremongering’ and threatening that he will have the media group closed down.
In the attempt to clear his name he used the Costa Blanca South Chat Facebook Forum in a since-deleted post, the week after he was made a ‘pedania mayor’ in three nearby Orihuela urbanisations.
“The accusations are unfounded, the reporter seems to have some personal vendetta against One Way Services,” he insisted.
“Trying to drag up old news seems to be a common trait with this scaremongering “costa-tabloid” and I wouldn’t be surprised if soon they may get a big surprise and probably dissappear (sic) into oblivion.”
He later added: “I can’t comment much more as I have an ongoing libel case against the tabloid in question.”
It is an extremely odd claim, given that we have not received any notification of this, or warning, nor have we ‘dragged up’ old news.
As one of the victims, Jay Elliott, pointed out: “The case is still live and it happened less than six months ago, so hardly old news.
“We have still not been cleared and are facing a court case, which we are told could take up to two years to take place.
“And, one thing for sure, as soon as it is over we will be suing Smith and One Way Services.”
She added: “It’s literally staggering that Orihuela council feels fit to make this guy a local mayor when this case hangs over him.”
Smith insisted that he was not aware of any court date when approached by the Olive Press on November 22, adding that all his clients were dealt with ‘in a satisfactory manner’.
He said: “As far as I am aware there is no planned date for any case against me.
“All the clients that requested help were dealt with in a satisfactory manner.
“The police did not bring charges against them, nor do they have a criminal record relating to your allegations.
“If you are aware of anyone else that is having problems obtaining their residencia please ask them to get in touch with us, and we will happily help them.”
If any readers have been affected by this issue, please get in touch via email@example.com
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