Arguidos alleged legal problems and borrowed money from the elderly. When they tried to get the money back, they were intimidated. The two couples were accused of 32 crimes of qualified fraud, one in the attempted form, and one of money laundering.
Sérgio Ribeiro, a 34-year-old military officer from GNR, detached in Guimarães, and his wife, Soraia Ribeiro, a 29-year-old justice auditor, liked high-end cars, luxury restaurants, travel and branded clothing. However, they were pleasures inaccessible to their “modest income”.
They then decided, with the help of the military’s parents, retired and residing in Mondim de Basto, to devise a scheme to live the lives of millionaires, “at the expense of others”. The soldier’s father, “very well-known, considered and with a good reputation”, started asking people who trusted him for money, points out the DIAP accusation in Braga.
Alone or with the help of his wife, the pensioner invoked “a situation of urgency and distress” – the imminent arrest of his son or his possible expulsion from the GNR – and claimed that he needed to make judicial payments to avoid those outcomes. The victims, normally elderly in a fragile situation, acceded to the requests. The money was given to the son who used it largely to support his tastes of luxury.
None of the defendants made any intention to repay the loans. In fact, when the victims tried to get the money back, it was intimacy and, therefore, few complaints came forward.
Arrested in November 2019
In November of last year, they were to be detained. A year later, the accusation was known. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office of ViIa Nova de Famalicão, between 2016 and 2019, the two couples managed to get 29 offended, in some cases husband and wife, to deliver 406,999 euros to them, a large part of which was used to finance “a high level of life of the GNR military accused and the accused justice auditor “and candidate for judge.
In addition to the 32 scams, the defendants are also accused of having circulated these amounts through bank accounts, with operations to hinder their traceability, and of having converted them into numerous assets, hence the crime of money laundering.