Community president makes a deal

It’s not only corrupt Spanish officials that home-owners have to beware of these days.

A British man, who was president of the Nerja Residents’ Association, allegedly defrauded its members out of as much as 200,000 euros, and has now made a deal with prosecutors.

The 52 year old was arrested in 2009 after the association denounced him after discrepancies were found in the income and expenditure accounts. He was due to appear in court next week to face two separate charges of aggravated embezzlement.

The prosecutor alleged that the money was taken from owners to carry out work on their properties, but the work was never done. The man also faces a charge of keeping community fees and payments for maintenance which he received from some owners.

The prosecutor was asking for him to receive five years in prison for the embezzlement charge, which he said was aggravated due to the length of time it continued, plus a further four year sentence for the continued fraud.

The residents’ association had also brought a private case against him, in which it demanded five years imprisonment for misappropriation of funds plus five years for fraud, and a further two years for falsification of documents. He has already served 16 months in prison.

It is now reported, however, that he has made a deal with the prosecution to accept a four year prison sentence for a continuing offence of fraud, plus a fine of 151,000 euros. The deal, which was agreed by his legal representative, and the residents’ association of which he was president, also prohibits him from holding any similar position for the same period. He must also pay court costs.