NEWS

Real estate fraudsters preyed on ex-officers

Two men from northern Greece received stiff prison sentences yesterday for defrauding nearly two dozen would-be investors out of hundreds of thousands of euros by selling them shares in a bogus real estate company. A court in the eastern Macedonian town of Drama sentenced both Nikolaos Pamboukas, 42, and Pavlos Hadzipetrou, 38, to 26 years and 15 months in prison for the scam, which netted them a total of 601,614 euros. The men were found guilty of posing as top executives in a phantom real estate and construction firm that was supposed to be doing brisk business in Greece and abroad. Their 23 victims, many of whom were recently retired armed forces and police officers with sizable lump sums to spend, were promised bonds and company shares in return for their investments, but ended up with nothing more binding than handwritten receipts of payment.