Austrian police have arrested a conman from Wels in upper Austria who allegedly travelled the country for 24 years defrauding people and businesses as he went.
Police were alerted to the man’s activities after an acquaintance of his complained that they had lent him €7000 in a written contract – and that he was refusing to pay it back.
Police discovered that the man with a different first name was wanted all over the country for hundreds of offences that were known about and they suspect that his list of victims is far higher.
They know already that he was active as a conman for at least 24 years and have identified 208 companies and individuals who have fallen victim to his tricks. Police added that they had been surprised how easy it had been for the man to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
They said companies and individuals had often not checked the man’s credentials or demanded payment upfront before delivering valuable items.
It included a new kitchen with electronic devices worth over €30,000 as well as houses and flats that he rented and vanished without paying the rent.
Other cons were more complicated, for example ordering hundreds of kilos of flower which he said he wanted to make Christmas cakes for a Christmas market and for which he never paid.
Grieskirchen police chief Franz Seebacher said the man had caused extensive damage to the companies and individuals that he had been involved with.