A woman, who gambled over €200,000 while living off of social benefits and failed to declare her fortune telling earnings, had a suspended sentence and fine changed to imprisonment.
The name of the woman was banned from publication, with criminal investigations beginning after police received confidential information back in 2020 about her gambling at local casinos.
Times of Malta revealed that the woman was spending large sums of money – far more than she declared for tax purposes.
A criminal proceeding had began against her earlier on after she was fired from her job in 2008 for allegedly stealing cheques at the workplace.
A year later she registered as ‘sole trader’ with the VAT department and set up business as a fortune teller whilst living in government housing and applying for social benefits.
It was reported how she received a total of €35,123.30 in 2008, 2009, 2012, and from 2014 to 2021 when she stated she had no job due to a medical condition. Police investigations however showed that she gambled around €203,604 between 2009 and 2020.
In 2022 she was declared guilty and was handed a 2 year jail term suspended for 4 years and a fine of €28,000. Apart from being ordered to pay €1053.98 in court expert expenses, the attorney general appealed the decision and thus saw an increase in punishment.
The attorney general argued that the accused admitted to money laundering, fraud and misappropriation after prosecution ended the evidence stage. The accused was sentenced to a 2 year jail term, with court adding one and a half year for separate charges.