Long-time fraudster jailed, re-arraigned hours later

Serial fraudster Annabelle Camilleri Monreal jailed for two years and seven months, only to be re-arraigned again over fraud charges.

A serial fraudster who tricked people into renting apartments that did not belong to her, was yesterday jailed for two years and nine months, only to be re-arraigned a day later over more fraud cases.

Annabelle Camilleri Monreal, 29, of Xemxjia, was jailed after she pleaded guilty to defrauding six people throughout December.

Informed sources explained that the woman would first rent an apartment or villa, make a copy of the key and later take people to show them the property for rental. Moreover, the accused would then take money for rentals and deposits of properties - only for the tenants to realise that they had been duped.

Before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli, the accused yesterday admitted to defrauding six people, and was jailed for nine months. The accused also had a two-year-suspended sentence brought into effect.

The prison term was however appealed, meaning that her prison sentence has not yet started.

However, barely a day later, Camilleri Monreal was back in court, this time accused of defrauding several other people. Moreover, police inspector Godwin Scerri said this was the tip of the iceberg, as there are queues of people waiting to file police reports against her.

Standing before Magistrate Doreen Clarke, the accused pleaded not guilty to fraud. In submissions for bail, defence lawyer Noel Bianco said his client had defrauded people only to repay others whom she had previously defrauded.

Dismissing the defence’s plea for bail, Magistrate Clarke remanded the woman in custody, arguing that she is untrustworthy.

In November, the woman – whose name has become synonymous with tricking people into renting apartments that did not belong to her – was jailed for seven months after admitting to defrauding a Briton of €1,000 who had paid to rent an apartment in St Paul’s Bay.

Last year, Camilleri Monreal was also arraigned over a scam involving Gozo farmhouses in which people were tricked into renting apartments that were either inexistent or not hers. The woman has other pending fraud cases, including one in which is charged with defrauding her former employer, Zahra Trading and Properties, out of €3,000.

Police Inspector Godwin Scerri led the prosecution while Lawyer Noel Bianco appeared for the accused.