Detergent fraud suspect granted bail

35-year-old charged of defrauding 12 people out of over €100,000 through convincing them to invest in detergent business

A woman accused of masterminding a fake investment scheme has been granted bail, as more witnesses told a court of their experience at the hands of the alleged fraudster.

Criminal proceedings against 35-year old Tanya Borg from Attard continued earlier this week. Borg is charged with having defrauded twelve individuals out of over €100,000, by convincing them to invest in a ‘lucrative’ detergent business alongside "important people such as police inspectors, lawyers and established entrepreneurs".

A series of victims took the witness stand over several sittings, telling magistrate Doreen Clarke, who is presiding over the compilation of evidence, how the woman would promise great profits, presenting a written agreement purported to have been signed by the current owner of the detergent enterprise, only to break off all contact once her victims demanded their money back.

One married couple, who had sold their matrimonial home and had some spare cash safely tucked away, had been lured into the scam when the woman bragged about how the business "had made her rich".

After handing over some €35,000 and convincing a friend to invest €10,000 in the scheme, the couple soon realised that they had been deceived. Their requests for their money back were always parried with excuses, and calls to the woman’s mobile phone went unanswered.

The woman had then given them cheques which had subsequently been dishonoured by the bank. The couple only managed to recover one-tenth of the sum originally ‘invested'.

Two Gozitan investors explained how they had handed over thousands of euros in cash and cheques to the woman and had then received less than they had originally invested when they demanded their money back, having smelled a rat.

At the end of the sitting, a fresh request for bail was upheld against a deposit of €5,000 and an obligation to sign the bail book three times a week. The case continues.

Inspectors Ann Marie Xuereb and Elton Taliana prosecuted. Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.

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