MURCIA’S Supreme Court has thrown out an appeal by two men behind the Trampolin Hills housing development who were convicted of fraud in November 2021.
Antonio Martinez Gonzalez- known as ‘El Melonero’- will spend five years behind bars after defrauding a dozen British buyers over off-plan home sales in the Murcia district of Gea and Truyols.
In February 2020, he turned down a plea deal involving a two-year jail term, meaning that as a first conviction, he would have remained a free man.
Martinez’s former partner, Rafael Aguilera Serna, will go to prison for four years.
Despite ‘debt-free’ promises, buyers discovered homes had been mortgaged twice with loans of up to €100,000 with the now-defunct CAM bank.
Home owners only found out what had happened when they came to sell their properties.
Aguilera assisted Martinez in arranging the mortgages in 2007, saddling property owners with the hidden debts.
Both men lodged appeals against the original verdicts and sentences in January 2022- one on the grounds that buyers were fully aware of what they were getting into.
The men’s 2021 hearing was dominated by Aquilera and Martinez blaming each other for what happened.
Aguilera said that he could not write Spanish, never went to school, and did not understand loans.
Martinez countered by claiming Aguilera was the ‘lord and owner’ of the project.
The scam was committed under the registered company name of Solera El Trampolín.
The mortgage fraud conviction is just part of a series of Trampolin Hills issues involving the ex-colleagues and friends.
Most of the ‘golf resort urbanisation’ was never built but an estimated 500 people across Europe paid up to €60,000 for deposits and got nothing in return.
It’s believed that buyers were defrauded out of around €50 million with other cases still active against the convicted duo.
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