A woman on bail for allegedly masterminding a fake investment scheme has been arraigned again as more victims of her past scams came forward.
35-year old Tanya Borg had been charged last February and released on bail after allegedly having defrauded 12 individuals out of over €100,000, by convincing them to invest in a ‘lucrative’ detergent business alongside “important people such as police inspectors, lawyers and established entrepreneurs”.
Today, Inspectors Ann Marie Xuereb and Elton Taliana charged the woman with having defrauded another 9 persons in the months leading up to last January.
The inspectors told the court that after media reports of her crimes were circulated, a number of other victims had approached the police.
Borg, a cleaner, pleaded not guilty. Her lawyers, Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri, requested bail. The prosecution objected, due to one particular vulnerable witness.
Debono argued that there was a distinction between an arrest and an arraignment under arrest. “If you fail to give police your details you can be arrested, but that is no reason to arraign under arrest. This distinction is not being made,” Debono said.
The charges date back to 2-3 months ago, said the lawyer, pointing out that since then, Borg had been arraigned under arrest and granted bail. “Since then she hasn’t breached any conditions of this decree. It happens that sometimes people rob Peter to pay Paul, and she is also a victim.”
Borg had started a new job and her husband was also in employment, said the lawyer. “What do the victims want? If she goes to prison she will lose her job again and be placed in an even worse situation with respect to repaying her victims.” Borg hadn’t spoken to the vulnerable witness in question since December, added the lawyer.
“She’s learned her lesson since her last arraingment and is working to repay her victims… She won’t pay the victims from prison.”
The court upheld the request and granted bail. Borg cannot approach any of the prosecution’s witnesses and must sign a bail book three times a week. The court demanded no deposit, but imposed a personal guarantee of €10,000 “If you breach the slightest one of these conditions, apart from going to prison and having to pay a fine you will also lose this guarantee,” said the court. A freezing order on all her assets was imposed, together with a 3 year protection order in favour of vulnerable victim.
Original article found on The Malta Independent