Four and a half years in prison for the owner of a betting house in Tenerife who simulated a robbery

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) has annulled a sentence that acquitted a businessman from a betting house in Adeje, in the south of Tenerife, of the crime of fraud and convicted him of simulation of a crime. In addition, he is sentenced to four and a half years in prison and the payment of 92,000 euros to the company from which he stole the money.

The defendant will not be able to manage or work in a business related to the world of lottery again and must also pay a fine of 1,500 euros.

The obligation to disburse 2,700 euros for simulating a crime is maintained when reporting the alleged theft to the Civil Guard in order to hide embezzlement in the business accounts.

The TSJC now agrees with the Prosecutor’s Office and the private prosecution, who at the time requested a sentence of 5 years in prison and the payment of 92,000 euros for the crime of fraud.

At the end of 2016, the defendant signed a contract with an entity dedicated to sports betting to jointly operate a premises located in Adeje, so that he would give this company 50% of his profits.

The businessman was in charge of processing, accepting and collecting the plays, paying the prizes and taking charge of the accounting.

Between the end of January and the beginning of February 2017, the accused made a large number of bets in his favor through the over-the-counter system that totaled 92,080 euros without disbursing any amount.

The defendant was aware that the cash register he managed was fictitious due to the lack of cash, so he cashed in the winning tickets at three other establishments. But in reality he only managed to get hold of 12,146 euros, which is attributed to the material lack of time and not wanting to arouse suspicion.

The entity with which he signed the agreement agreed at that time to give him almost 3,200 euros as replacement, an amount that the defendant did not reflect in the accounting.

For this reason, when the time to carry out the monthly settlement of operations approached, he simulated a robbery to hide this fraudulent situation and to this end, on February 6, he filed a complaint with the Adeje Civil Guard for an alleged robbery with force in the place he ran.

To give more credibility to this fiction, around two in the morning he made a call to 112 from a booth in which he stated that he was observing that there were several people inside the premises.

A Police patrol arrived at the scene and the officers verified that the establishment was closed and no incident was perceived.

Hours later, the defendant reported the theft of almost 97,000 euros that were in the safe, the cash register and the betting machines, which had been destroyed by the defendant himself to try to give credibility to his words.

During the judicial procedure it was found that on those dates “unusual circumstances” occurred, such as unusual figures and the recording of multiple bets of 300 euros issued at intervals of between 15 to 90 seconds.

The defendant’s words during the trial have been described as “lacking a minimum of consistency,” as have those of a witness who claimed that he had made some of these moves and that he also used to do them successively.

However, the Court ruled out that the assumptions were met to conclude that the crime of fraud was committed, as maintained by the private prosecution and the Prosecutor’s Office, which the TSJC now agrees with.

The new ruling concludes that there is sufficient evidence to determine that this crime actually existed by considering “it is clear that there was deception, harm and also a causal relationship between one and the other, since the first was the antecedent and triggering favor of the second.”

Regarding the charge of simulation of a crime, it is determined that the alleged theft and the complaint were “consciously concocted and executed with the intention of concealing the embezzlement carried out at the cash register of the betting shop” and therefore the payment of the fine is maintained.

The witnesses confirmed that they found it suspicious the way the betting machine was broken or that the security alarm did not detect the entry of any person.

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