Eight arrested in bust of real estate fraud group in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia
Eight people have been taken into 24-hour custody in connection with a real estate fraud scheme in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia involving the property of people who died without leaving heirs, Bulgarian National Radio reported on January 15.
The spokesperson for the Prosecutor-General’s office, Siyka Mileva, said that the group had been operating for five years. The properties of 15 deceased people had been the subject of fraud.
According to BNR, the scheme involved employees of the Interior Ministry, the Chief Directorate for Civil Registration and Administrative Services, a lawyer and a debt collector.
The investigation was carried out by the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the Interior Ministry’s Directorate for Internal Affairs and the State Agency for National Security.
Mileva said that the investigation began after tip-off that a member of the crime group had entered into a fictitious marriage with a woman who was dead, with an employee from the civil registration office manipulating the record to depict the woman as alive, to deceive state institutions.
Apart from fake marriage records to enable members of the crime group to pose as legitimate heirs, cases also had been identified in which participants had, using fake documents, drawn money from all available bank accounts held by the deceased, Mileva said.
Investigations are continuing.