Foreign citizens believed that they had a lawyer who would solve their problems with the residence permit in Portugal through the Gold Visas.
They were mainly Brazilians, South Africans and Chinese, and entrusted Maria Antonia Cameira with large sums of money, in the order of millions, to ensure the purchase of houses, each worth at least 500 thousand euros. But the lawyer, who has been in preventive custody since July last year, ended up with the money and is now accused by the Public Prosecution Office of crimes of qualified fraud and forgery of documents. In addition to the lawyer, the office he represented is also the defendant.
According to the District Attorney General of Lisbon (PGDL), the indictment indicates that, at least since 2014, in light of the gold visas, the defendant “drew up a plan, using a law firm, of which he was legal representative, which was to promote their legal services as well as the acquisition of real estate properties with them. ”
But the scheme went beyond the mere legal service. “As part of the plan, monetary amounts relating to real estate were obtained. Instead of carrying out the corresponding deeds and buying and selling, for which it was mandated, the defendant would make them his, forging information from the SEF, making passbooks and permanent certificates of the real estate, creating the impression with investors that progress with SEF was being made. At the time of arrest about 10 million euros through fraud in fraud had been made.
The lawyer even went to South Africa and China to contact prospective clients. “In order to publicize its alleged services in acquiring property and providing legal services in obtaining Gold visas. The defendant advertised on the Internet, made cooperation agreements with agencies and real estate agents and moved to several countries where he contacted potential clients, namely in South Africa and China. ”
The investigation was directed by the MP in the 8th section of the DIAP of Lisbon, with the support of the PJ, and if the defendants do not request the instruction will soon be for trial.
The defendant has been convicted in England and served six years in prison for misappropriating 312,000 euros from a client of law firms she ran in London. The money served, according to the British court, was to to pay expenses and finance the luxurious life of the Portuguese. She was tried in absentia in 2012 having fled to Lisbon before the conviction.