Fraudster couple in Spain steal expat rental deposits and flee to Italy

Published:  28 Apr at 6 PM
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Expats living in Spain and Gibraltar are urging local police to act after a couple fled to Italy with expats’ rental deposits totalling thousands of euros.

Convicted fraudster Natasha Lambert and her partner in crime Marco Molinari fled to Italy earlier this month to avoid furious expats who’d been cheated out of their rental deposits. Molinari’s La Linea-based rental property agency Tu Casa Click was the headquarters for the scam which robbed a number of cross-border expat workers of thousands of euros in deposits.

Spanish police were first alerted to the couple’s activities when a former friend of Molinari lodged a complaint that a property she’d rented had been sub-let without the owner’s knowledge or permission. Molinari took 1,760 euros as a deposit just before he, Lambert and their dogs headed for Malaga Airport and fled to Rome.

The alleged victim, who wished to remain anonymous, told police she’d mostly dealt with Lambert, and was bitterly disappointed as she’d regarded Molinari as a friend. She added they’d both lied and covered up their crime, and decided to report them to police when her electricity was cut off due to months of non-payment.

Another couple, who’d also considered Molinari as a friend, had paid 1,640 euros as a deposit on a house in Santa Margarita. After they’d paid, Lambert told him the property was no longer available as it was rented already. They are now homeless as a result of the deception. Daniel Ward, owner of a restaurant in La Linea, was another victim of the dodgy duo, having bought his restaurant through Tu Casa Click.

He’d seen an advert for the property claiming there was no outstanding credit on the restaurant, and was furious to find he’d have to pay around 2,200 euros to clear the unpaid debts. When Ward complained to Molinari, he was met by a barrage of verbal abuse.

When a reporter from the Olive Press English language expat newspaper managed to contact Molinari by phone, the fraudster claimed he’d been in touch with the victims and the entire thing was a mistake, before denying any knowledge of the accusations against him and Lambert. It transpired that Lambert has been convicted in the UK of a similar crime involving fake representation of rental properties and conning £6,210 out of her victims. An arrest warrant was issued in March 2016 after she failed to comply with a court order of compensation to those scammed plus court costs.
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