The managing couple of Optima Real Estate Monaco are suspected of embezzling rental revenue to fund their expensive lifestyle. The 67 year-old manager of the real estate agency was not present at a hearing in Monaco despite the arrest warrant which was issued in January 2019. His wife, also a manager, is being sued in the same case, the couple are suspected of breach of trust and unfair management, local French-language daily Monaco Matin reports.
It is believed that between 2010 and 2013, the couple embezzled 860,000 euros in rental revenue through collecting rent from tenants and not sending the property owners the full amount. The defendants are accused of carrying out this scheme on 33 different clients, who entrusted their property to the real estate agents. The money seems to be long gone, as the couple were known for their expensive lifestyle. SBM statements show that the two spent around 5,200,000 euros over the course of five years in the Casino alone, the daily reports.
As her alleged partner in crime was on the run, the woman stood as the sole defendant in the Palace of Justice and categorically refuted all allegations thrown her way. The evidence, in the form of documents, departed with the defendant’s husband. When she was questioned further, Madame said “I am not responsible for the slightest irregularity”.
Prosecutor Alexia Brianti was less than impressed with the argument; “From the moment she received the funds on behalf of the agency, she was fully in breach of trust. Simple victim? No! She had power of attorney over the account… I am asking you for a suspended prison sentence of two years with freedom of probation. For Monsieur, two years closed with an arrest warrant.”
The case has been taken under advisement until November 3, in the event of a conviction on that date, the defendants’ lawyer has already indicated his intention to appeal.
Original source: Monaco Matin