Fake police officer took €53,000 from family
A man duped a family into thinking he was a CID officer and defrauded them of several thousand euro based on those false pretences.
A court yesterday ordered him to pay them back more than €53,000, money he had persuaded the couple to lend him for his business and their daughter to pay him to carry out a fake investigation into her husband’s finances.
Gino Zammit had been introduced to Joseph and Maria Anna Vella and their daughter Maria Sciberras in 2004, the court heard.
They were told that Mr Zammit was a police officer who had been assigned to work with the Criminal Investigation Department.
As a result they had trusted him and in the last seven months of 2004 Mr and Mrs Vella loaned him Lm15,352 towards his business.
Mr Vella and Mr Zammit also travelled together to Turkey. Prior to their departure, Mr Zammit insisted that Mr Vella hand over to him half the cash he was carrying.
Mr Vella therefore entrusted him with Lm2,225 but when they got to Turkey, Mr Zammit told Mr Vella the Turkish authorities had confiscated this money.
Mrs Sciberras told the court that she had problems with her husband and Mr Zammit had offered to obtain information about her husband’s financial affairs.
She paid him Lm4,000 to find out about a safe deposit box allegedly held by her husband with HSBC and had borrowed a further Lm5,000 to pay Mr Zammit for more information.
The family subsequently realised that Mr Zammit was not a police officer and that he had not carried out any work on their behalf.
Madam Justice Anna Felice in the First Hall of the Civil Court, ordered Mr Zammit to refund the family the total sum, €41,608 to Mr and Mrs Vella and €11,646.87 to Mrs Sciberras.