An elderly woman who wandered in the streets begging for a piece of bread and a few Euros was found to be a millionaire. Despite being a beggar, the old woman added 16.4 million Euros in her bank accounts during 2000 to 2010. Officers of the Greek Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) stumbled upon this inconsistency after receiving strange information about the woman’s deposits.
Her bank accounts were opened and subjected to investigation last summer after several complaints were filed for the seemingly poor old lady. The officers discovered that she had tremendously high assets, including 15 estate properties. When SDOE cross-examined the woman’s deposits with her tax returns, they found an unbelievable inconsistency.
The old lady filed no tax returns for years, sometimes admitted she earned a few million Euros, the exception being 2004 when she informed the tax service that she had earned 6,500 Euros. Nevertheless, the fraud was discovered, as her assets for the same period were increased by a 6.5 million Euro deposit.
The woman passed away last September, so her son was forced to give answers to SDOE officers, being the only heir. He claimed that the woman had found the money after receiving a large sum from an inheritance by her aunt in America and by her legal work as a cosmetics saleswoman. He also explained that the woman had been receiving her husband’s pension and rents from a couple of estates.
His explanations weren’t reasonable and the officers didn’t buy it. They seem certain that the old woman used to be a loan shark when she was younger, based on evidence they have collected.
Her son will now have to pay a huge fine and additional taxes for the income the two of them had been withholding from the Greek tax service. The imposed surcharges could be more than 3 million Euros.
The old lady used to live on the streets during the last years of her life, as she was suffering from psychological problems, possibly due to her sense of guilt, as her son explained to SDOE officers.