Cala Romantica fraud victims get their money back in court

Published:  16 Jan at 6 PM
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Spanish bank Sabadell Solbank has been ordered to reimburse damages of hundreds of thousands to expats who lost out over a failed off-plan real estate development.

The scam began in 2006, when the Cala Romantica development was launched as an off-plan opportunity due to be completed by 2008. Construction had stalled long before the purchase contracts were cancelled in 2011 just before the developers declared bankruptcy. Dozens of buyers lost all their savings due to the collapse, leading eventually to their lawyers sueing the construction company’s bank.

The judge ruled against the bank, ordering it to pay some €500,000 plus costs to the more than 80 duped buyers. In court, lawyers for Sabadell Solbank argued the bank had no legal relationship with claimants due to its not being involved in the purchasing contracts issued by the developers. The bank’s legal team also claimed the time limit for filing the complaint had passed its one year statutory validity. According to its lawyers, none of the payments made had been credited to the account held by the developers and there was no mention of Sabadell in any contract.

The judge, clearly on the side of the plaintiffs, rejected the bank’s stance, saying the bank cannot be exempted from its responsibility simply because the claimants did not demand delivery of the original guarantees. According to the claimants’ lawyers, the judgement represents an important precedent for other cases of this kind, many of which are still outstanding elsewhere in Spain.

Meanwhile, the husband of missing British expat mother Rebecca Muldoon has been rearrested by Marbella police using a European Arrest Warrant. In addition to violently attacking his wife before she was reported as missing, he is wanted by UK police for a financial crime, with British police now requesting his extradition to face charges. As yet, there is no news as to whether the body of a British woman discovered several days ago is that of Rebecca Muldoon.
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