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German pair face jail over €132,000 hotel bill

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German pair face jail over €132,000 hotel bill
A couple who stayed at a Catalonian hotel for over a year without paying could now face a heavy penalty. Photo: Vincent Desjardins
12:48 CET+01:00
A German couple face up to three years in jail and a massive bill after camping out in a Catalonian hotel for 14 months without paying.
The pair stayed at the Hotel Mas Salvi from the 30th of March 2009 to the end of July the following year. 
 
Hans W., 63, and his 31-year-old girlfriend Monika U. took up residence in the four-star hotel in the popular tourist town of Pals, supposedly with the intention of buying the €8.2 million building, online newspaper El Confidencial reported.
 
The two Germans assured the hotel's owners they were in a sound financial position and ran an audovisual production and distribution company in the United States.
 
They claimed they were told by hotel management they could stay for free while they negotiated the purchase of the property.
 
But the sale of the hotel fell through and the hotel owner then demanded that the couple pay for their stay.
 
Now the case has ended up in court in the Catalan town of Girona, with the German couple up on fraud charges.
 
If convicted they could face three years in prison and a fine of €2,700. 
 
They would also have to pay €132,000 for their stay.  
 
The prosecuting attorney is asking for a four year jail sentence for the couple, a €10,800 fine and full payment of the hotel bill with interest. 
 
The defence on the other hand is asking for full acquittal of the accused.
 
Sources at Girona's Provincial Court told The Local: "No decision has been reached yet. The judge should pass sentence on this case in the next seven days."
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