A group of four property fraudsters was detained in Sofia on 27th of February. According to the investigators, the arrested have committed frauds with 23 properties in the capital city of Sofia. Their victims were lonely elderly people, as well as people with mental health issues. The group also includes a former notary public who had been deprived of his rights for involvement in such crimes in 2009, reports BNT. 

The investigation on the group started a year ago following an alert filed to the police in Sofia by an heir of an elderly person, who was a victim to a property fraud. The police initiated investigative actions and identified that the group consisted of four people, including former notary Boris Yankov, who was the legal advisor of the group.

The former notary Yankov prepared the schemes under which the property of the victims can be acquired legally.

In most cases, the vicitms did not receive anything.

Georgi Hadzhiev, Director of SDRD: In some cases we are talking about property benefit, for example, provision of a TV or refrigerator in very minimal size. In some of the transactions, witnesses had been prepared to take part in the notarial proceedings to confirm to the Notary that the owner of the property has been in possession of it for more than 10 years.

In addition to adverse prossesion, properties were also stolen though forged documents or documents signed by the victim through coercion or deception.

Vania Hristeva, Prosecutor: Including signing blank documents, which the victims were deceived to consider that they were powers of attorney before different institutions, social assistance, etc. Such documents actually authorized other people to represent them before Notaries.

There are currently no existing Notaries to participate in the scheme. Theft of 9 properties has been prevented as investigators have tracked down the preparations for fraud and have warned potential victims not to sign the documents.

Source