• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Ex-mayor of Marbella pleads guilty over Sir Sean Connery villa fraud
The case centres on a villa once owned by Sir Sean and his wife. Archive Photo: AFP

Ex-mayor of Marbella pleads guilty over Sir Sean Connery villa fraud

Fiona Govan · 12 Jan 2016, 12:39

Published: 12 Jan 2016 12:39 GMT+01:00

The disgraced former mayor, who is already serving prison sentences for other fraud and planning crimes, appeared in a Malaga court on Monday along with seventeen others.

The case - dubbed ‘Goldfinger’ after the 1964 film in which Connery played James Bond – centres on the  sale of Casa Malibu, a villa in Marbella owned by Connery and his French wife Micheline Roquebrune.

Roquebrune herself has been ordered to stand trial over an alleged mutli-million pound tax fraud involving the sale of the villa.

Sir Sean and his wife bought a beachfront home, Casa Malibu, near Puerto Banus, after their wedding in 1975 and spent much of their time on the Costa del Sol where they indulged their love of golf in between his film projects.

They are said to have entertained some of the top film and sports stars of the time at the whitewashed villa including Sir Michael Caine and George Best before selling the home in 1999 for a reported £5.5 million.

A developer later used the site to build a four-storey block containing 72 holiday apartments sold for an estimated £45 million despite planning regulations stipulating that only five flats could be built there. The alleged crimes being investigated include money laundering, tax evasion and town planning breaches.

The second wife of the former 007 actor could be sentenced to two and a half years in prison and a fine of more than £16 million if found guilty of charges that she took part in a complex operation to defraud Spanish authorities of nearly £5.5 million.

Prosecutors allege that Roquebrune collaborated with lawyers and businessmen charged in the Goldfinger case to formalise “fictitious legal transactions” to hide profits from the sale of the property from the taxman.

The 84-year-old, who has submitted a sworn affidavit denying wrongdoing and insisting she had nothing to do with a tax-fraud conspiracy, has been ordered to stand trial separately.

Sir Sean, 85, was also investigated over the alleged fraud but was told in 2014 that he would not face trial after declaring his innocence in a 56-page affidavit.

 

Muñoz is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after he was found guilty of running a scheme that provided building permits in the glitzy Costa del Sol beach resort in return for bribes.

Story continues below…

The scandal, baptized "Malaya", broke in March 2006, and implicated dozens of city officials and business executives as well as his ex-grlfriend, the singer Isabel Pantoja, who is serving time at a women’s prison near Seville for her role in the scandal.

 

 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Suspend EU funds for Spain says European Commission
European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen. Photo: AFP

The EU should suspend structural funds to Spain and Portugal after they failed to rein in their debt, according to a letter from the European Commission seen by AFP.

Spain arrests Polish millionaire in arms bust
The gang sold more than 200,000 AK-47s, as well as missile launchers and tanks. Photo: AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had arrested a Polish millionaire suspected of masterminding a ring that smuggled assault rifles and heavy weapons into South Sudan.

Video
Stag party bungee jump prank goes viral in Spain
Screen grab: Jaime Cuesta/YouTube

A group of friends made this stag think he was going bungee-jumping on his last night of freedom... but they had an entirely different plan in mind.

Spain pays €300m each year in pensions… to dead people
Photo: Paco Cameo / Flickr

Almost 30,000 Spaniards continue to receive a state pension despite the fact that they have died.

Catalan separatists overtake 'remainers' for the first time
People wave pro-independence Catalan flags. Photo: AFP

For the first time ever, the number of people in favour of an independent Catalonia has surpassed the number of those against.

Childless households are the new normal in Spain
More and more Spanish households are comprised of flatmates rather than families. Screen grab: YouTube

Spain is in the middle of a never-before-seen demographic shift.

Video
Zoo animals enjoy ice lollies to cool off in Spain's heatwave
A chimp slurps on frozen fruit as temperatures soar across Spain. Photo: Bioparc Valencia

Vegetable ice cream, fruit lollies and for the carnivores among them, generous helpings of frozen meat, this is how zoo animals across Spain have kept their cool this week.

Girl rescued after night spent adrift on surfboard off Spain
File photo of a girl with a surfboard. Photo: hjl/Flickr

The young woman could not beat the strong currents to make it back to shore.

Spain's new coach Lopetegui promises 'evolution'
Lopetegui during a press conference on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Newly named Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has already led Spain's youth teams to international success.

Gallery
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
Photo: Ignacio Palomo Duarte/Flickr

While we've all been tempted by the Spanish holiday classic of a chilled glass of sangria, Spain has much more to offer when it comes to tantalizing tipples. Here's The Local's guide to some of the best.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Barcelona bans Segways from tourist clogged waterfront
National
Police issue guidelines as Pokémon craze sweeps Spain
National
Another dodgy art restoration raises alarm in Spain
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Watch: Man in wheelchair zooms past Barcelona traffic
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Woof! How to find dog-friendly beaches in Spain
Travel
Tourist sparks bomb scare by locking suitcase to park bench
Technology
Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
Off the beaten track: 14 best kept travel secrets in Spain
International
Keep calm and wait and see: Advice for expats post-Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
'I've had best time ever' insists American gored in bull run
Health
How to avoid heatstroke when Spain starts to sizzle
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Champion of expat property rights in Spain awarded gong
National
Scorchio! Heat warnings issued across Spain
National
Brits demand dual citizenship for expats in Spain post Brexit
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Sport
Spanish matador gored to death in the ring
Lifestyle
Eleven types of men you might typically date in Spain
National
Spanish police rescue British teen trapped by dad in house for two years
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Six important things we learnt from Spain's repeat elections
Politics
Rajoy claims right to form government after poll win
3,290
jobs available