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Fraud case affecting 350,000 Spaniards opens

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Fraud case affecting 350,000 Spaniards opens

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A judge in Madrid has ordered nine men accused of defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of euros to be detained while an investigation into their alleged activities continues.

Prosecuters say the men, linked to two private companies, lied to clients about the value of their shares in postage stamps. It has been described as potentially the biggest fraud scandal in Spanish history. Some 350,000 people, nearly 1 percent of Spain’s population, ploughed savings into the companies, which said they used the cash and their expertise in the global collectibles market to buy rare stamps. The firms Afinsa and Forum Filatelico deny the charges and have tried to assure their investors they can meet their commitments.