A now former travel agent has been given a suspended prison sentence after scamming football megastar Cristiano Ronaldo to the tune of £245,770 ($463,066).
An expose was published in Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias revealing that 53-year-old Maria Silva stole the money from Ronaldo using virtual credit card details she had been entrusted with to fuel her “spending disorder”.
The report said she also took money from Manchester United star Nani, sports agent Jorge Mendes and his firm Gestifute, and former Portsmouth and Everton footballer Manuel Fernandes.
Silva reportedly arranged for clients to pay for trips by transferring funds to her personal bank account instead of her agency, Geostar’s business account, Jornal de Noticias reported, according to The Daily Mail.
To cover the holes in her company’s accounts, she is said to have billed the trips to Ronaldo and other football stars who had entrusted her with their credit card details and pin codes.
The newspaper said she stole £245,770 ($463,066) from Ronaldo between February 2007 and July 2010 for around 200 trips he never made, as well as taking £2,440 ($4,597) from Fernandes and £6,000 ($11,305) from Gestifute.
Silva was reportedly convicted in January 2017 by a court in Porto after facing a police interview in 2013.
She has agreed to make monthly compensation payments to Geostar, which was forced to repay her victims, as part of a deal that would see her dodge four years worth of jail time.
Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons/Anton Zaitsev