In this news from the courtroom we present details of two recent cases involving false Monegasque number plates and a stolen bank card.
No registrations may be granted to owners of vehicles who do not have a domicile in Monaco as per Articles 79, 80 and 81 of the Civil Code, etc. Sovereign Ordinance No. 2.934 of 10 December 1962, regulating road traffic (Highway Code), is very clear. But a Portuguese family, forced to move to France, has nevertheless maintained the administrative advantages of the Principality for their Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot. In order to do so, although the three people resided in the neighbouring country, they did not hesitate to produce false documents and make false statements. The collusion with one of their daughters, of Monegasque nationality, and a French resident holding a residence permit, friend of the family, allowed them to drive with vehicles bearing Monaco number plates. Until they were caught…
At the helm of the five defendants, three women were present. The others were represented by their council. From the outset, the tension between the generations was palpable in this case, against a background of family quarrel over childcare. But at the time, this little world was nevertheless working together to defraud the administration.
“As of August 2015,” said the presiding Judge, “your fraud relied solely on false documents: vehicle sale certificates, registration certificates, passports. How could you think that by making false statements to the administration you were not going to cause yourself serious problems?”
The accused had never thought of this eventuality. They did not want to take the necessary steps and follow the procedures so that the transfer of vehicles from one system to another would not cost as much money! “To make small savings,”continued the magistrate, you will now pay very dearly for your falsifications!” The Prosecutor was baffled to hear the lengths the family went to “to take advantage of the preferential rates of our public administration, which has been swindled by all the defendants from the beginning.” Then the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office took up the whole case again. And to conclude: “Both parents, the two girls and a friend committed offenses to save money in France. You should condemn them. These five people must avoid taking advantage next time. A € 2,500 to € 3,000 fine for those who took advantage of the savings! €600 for others! ”
The defence did not go so far as to excuse their clients, but to understand the reason for their mistakes. “Everything happened in a family context that was trapped in conflict as a result of the loss of residence in Monaco. This is an important factual element of the case. Relations within the group exploded. They do not talk anymore! Consequently, there are only victims affected by a loss of confidence and ultimately a complaint filed against their daughter. It was a significant risk of embezzlement by thoughtless actions. Make the right decision!” After deliberation, the court imposed suspended fines of € 1,000 to € 600.
“I made a mistake”
Aged 25 and never convicted before, a young Niçois appeared before the criminal court. He had to answer for fraudulent use of a means of payment following purchases made on the Internet with the bank card of another person. Between the misappropriation of numbers and the bank’s opposition to the complainant, the accused made purchases twice, for 1,987 euros, and then 4,700 euros of orders on the web. But only small transactions have been validated. That was a loss of 369 euros which he fully reimbursed. Quickly confused, this professional scammer was sentenced to a fine of 1,000 euros.
On 14 January, during an evening at a trendy nightclub of Larvotto, a customer found that his wallet was no longer in a pocket of his jacket. Would he have lost it? The search was unsuccessful. In the meantime, the Niçois found the precious object on the stairs of the adjoining another establishment. He intended to bring it back to its owner the next day. But he was not home. On the return home, the young man was tempted to engage in fraudulent transactions on the web…
In a few minutes, a TV, household appliances and some other gadgets totalled an expenditure of 6,687 euros. But the banking network took into account the limit on the use of the card and blocked large purchases. “Back two days later,” said the judge, “the complainant saw attempts to buy things on the internet during the period when he did not have his wallet. He opposed the purchases. Three orders were received with your address. Others have not been validated. You pledged to compensate the victim for 369 euros. Your decision to bring the wallet back was honest. Why did not you leave it with the cleaner?” The accused, dismayed, said, “I don’t know why I did it. I made a mistake. It was not my intention.” The personality of the offender surprised the Prosecutor. “Even in a moment of misguidance, this man made purchases of more than 6,000 euros on the net. He gave his real address when he placed his orders. Then he returned everything, reimbursed it. I am disarmed by this naïveté. I hope that a warning of a 1,000 euros to 1,500 euro fine will make him reflect”. The tribunal followed the requisitions.
In these two cases it seems again that trying to scam the system either via number plates or bank card details never pays off.