Spanish police arrest British expat family for care home fraud

Published:  9 Jun at 6 PM
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A British expat couple and their daughter have been arrested by local police in Santa Pola for running an illegal care home and defrauding residents of their properties.

According to Spanish police, the 59-year old couple had converted their property into a long-stay retirement home without obtaining the proper registrations and license for the business and without having any qualifications or experience. Worse still, once the victims were installed, it’s alleged that the couple and their daughter persuaded them to lodge their property deeds and other documents, thus giving the fraudsters the opportunity of persuading those close to death to sign over their assets to them.

According to the police, the British residents found to be staying at the home were all from local expat retirement destination Santa Pola. None had friends or family living in the area, and none were able to speak Spanish.

Police believe the daughter acted as a scout for possible victims whilst working in a local pharmacy. When serving unaccompanied elderly expats, she would recommend her parents’ retirement home as a solution for the loneliness experienced by old people in an unfamiliar setting.

Police were alerted to the situation by locals who suspected the retirement home was unlicensed and irregular. On inspection the five bedroomed bungalow was found to have no license and no required safety features, although CCTV cameras had been installed to keep track of the victims and prevent them from leaving.

According to former residents, if they received visitors, a member of the family would insist on being present during the visit, obviously to monitor the conversation. One resident, however, managed to leave with the assistance of his family and has corroborated police suspicions as to the intentions of the owners. Residents were charged from €2,500 to €3,000 per month for their upkeep.
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