The Judicial Court of Faro was the stage, this Wednesday afternoon, for the reading of the ruling, despite the strike of judicial employees during the investigations, of a mega fraud case.
More than 30 people were accused of fraud and forgery crimes, for having appropriated land and houses that did not belong to them. One of the accused was João Pereira, former councillor of the Olhão Chamber, who was sentenced to nine years in prison.
More than 20 buildings in Olhão, Faro and Albufeira were illegally appropriated in a scheme in which the leader was the former councillor of Olhão.
The former councillor of Bloco de Esquerda (BE) was suspected of organizing the necessary documentation and presenting it to the notary at the Olhão Notary Office, accompanying the justifications. In some cases, he was also a witness to the facts that served to justify possession by adverse possession. It was João Pereira who, as a rule, registered with the land registry offices. The notary from the Olhão Notary Office was one of the accused, but was acquitted of all crimes.
The public deeds of justification were carried out at the Olhão Notary's Office, stating that the buildings in question had been sold or donated verbally in the 1980s. More than 20 buildings in Olhão, Faro and Albufeira were illegally appropriated.
João Pereira isthe first activist expelled in the history of BE, for allegedly “failing to tell the truth” about several processes, including an alleged fraudulent bankruptcy of a company and debts to the tax authorities.
Of the 32 defendants, two were sentenced to effective prison sentences, 16 to suspended prison sentences and one to a fine. The rest were acquitted.
The trial had started in March and ended this Wednesday.
Sérgio Martins, the president of the Parish Council of Santa Bárbara de Nexe, in Faro, was the first to warn about this situation. Between 2019 and 2020, Sérgio Martins published two videos on Facebook about the issue.