Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
This is is the greedy conman who splashed a deceased woman’s cash on champagne-fuelled private jet trips to London instead of keeping his promise to set up an educational foundation.
The 52-year-old man, who was only identified in reports as Eric L., was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of professional fraud and breach of trust by a court in Braunschweig in the German state of Lower Saxony.
Eric L., who was a close friend of millionaire Hroswitha B. for many years, convinced her on her death bed at the age of 72 to grant him full power of attorney over her heritage.
Pictures Credit: CEN
Hroswitha B., who earned her fortune in the real estate business, wanted an educational fund to be set up with her money, although Eric L. started using the money for his own purposes from day one.
He rented a private jet to fly six friends and his girlfriend Roxana D. to London for 27,000 EUR (23,298 GBP) among other lavish outgoings.
The court heard he spent 25,000 EUR (21,572 GBP) on his stay at the five-star Milestone Hotel in Kensington.
He also frequently went on shopping trips to Hamburg and Berlin where he dined in the finest restaurants drinking top shelve wines and champagne.
In court, Eric L. said that spending the money was a sort of therapy to help him get over Hroswitha’s death.
He said: “I wanted to console myself for her death.”
According to the prosecutor’s office, Eric L. acted out of pure greed as within eight months after Hroswitha’s death he already had spent 100,000 EUR (86,288 GBP) on a lavish lifestyle.
The prosecutor put Eric L. in his place and said: “And that is why you bought a washing machine for 640 EUR (552 GBP) one day after her death.”
The court ruled that Hroswitha was at her full wits when she made Eric L. the executor of her inheritance at her deathbed, but that he breached her trust and defrauded the money for private purposes.
According to the judge, Eric L.’s confession was a mitigating factor, while his previous criminal record of eight convictions and three years spent in jail worked against him.