Victims tell court how woman duped them into investing in fake detergent business

Five relatives were convinced by a woman to invest €90,000 in a detergent business

Five relatives took the witness stand against a woman who defrauded them out of a total of some €90,000 by convincing them to invest their in a fake detergent business.

Unemployed mother of three, Tania Borg, 35, of Attard, has been in police custody since her arrest in January following reports by numerous victims who contacted the police wren they realised they had no hope of recovering the promised profits or the savings they had invested.

One witness told presiding magistrate Doreen Clarke  the accused had "wrecked his family", telling the court how he had handed over some €3,000 to the accused to invest after learning that other members of his family had done likewise.

But the promised profits never materialized.

The man’s partner testified to how she had been duped by the accused, together with her sister and elderly father. 

The woman recounted how she had withdrawn €10,000 from another investment last summer and handed them over to Borg, who was her sister's former workmate. Out of that sum the victim only succeeded in recovering €3,000 she said. 

On one occasion the witness had been convinced to give the accused €1,000 which she allegedly needed for her daughter’s lavish baptism party at a Sliema hotel.

Another victim recalled how she had handed over some €47,000 to the accused, enticed by the prospect of investing in a well-known local detergent trade run by a third-party retailer who was allegedly willing to share the profits.

Asked by defence counsel Franco Debono whether she had recovered any money from the accused, the witness replied that she had recovered a total of €36,000.

This witness’s father also testified to how he had met the accused at a Floriana bank to withdraw his €47,500 life policy. Out of these €30,000 were to be invested in the detergent scheme, the rest were to be returned to the man. However, the man only got €1,500 back and later loaned a further €3,000 to the accused.

This man’s sister explained how she too had been duped by the allegedly fraudulent woman who had swindled her out of €5,000. A second request for €3,000 had been turned down.

This victim only managed to recover €250.

Inspector Elton Taliana also explained how during investigations, the accused had insisted on confronting her alleged victims in police presence. However, when actually brought face to face with one of her victims, the woman had then not said a word, refusing to reply to questions and eventually breaking down in tears.

The case continues.

Inspectors Anne Marie Xuereb and Elton Taliana prosecuted.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.

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