- Cristiano Ronaldo has been defrauded of more than $ 340,000 by a Portuguese travel agent in three years, reports a Portuguese newspaper.
- Maria Silva fraudulently booked around 200 trips for clients, before pocketing their money and debiting Ronaldo’s credit card.
- She was given a four-year suspended prison sentence and agreed to return the money.
A travel agent scammed Manchester United football star Cristiano Ronaldo for about $ 340,000 more than a decade ago, according to a Portuguese newspaper.
Maria Silva, a 53-year-old Portuguese woman, appeared in court on Sunday where she confessed to defrauding Ronaldo along with his agent Jorge Mendes and another footballer, Nani.
Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias reports that Mendes lost $ 20,000 and Nani lost $ 2,000 in the fraud, which took place between 2007 and 2010.
Silva had access to Ronaldo’s credit card details and PINs before booking 200 trips across Europe, Africa and the United States for his clients.
Clients would then pay her their fees into a personal account, instead of the travel agency she worked for, Geostar.
“In the accounts of Geostar, CR7, family and friends have made countless trips to Bissau, Milan, Lyon, Sao Paulo, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Belgrade and Sao Tome, among many other destinations,” wrote Jornal de Noticias, according to a translation by the Daily Mirror.
“Travel was generally paid for through a virtual terminal to which the travel agent had access due to their work specifications,” he added.
While Ronaldo’s financial woe would be extremely damaging to the finances of any normal person, the $ 340,000 he lost equates to less than a week’s salary for the Portuguese star.
According to numerous British media outlets, Ronaldo earns around $ 525,000 a week at his current club, Manchester United, which means the money equates to just four and a half days’ pay.
Ronaldo was targeted between February 2007 and July 2010, during which time he transferred $ 110 million to Real Madrid from Manchester United.
Silva appeared in a Porto court and agreed to refund the money to the scammed customers in order to avoid jail.
The 53-year-old man, who now works as a housekeeper, received a four-year suspended prison sentence.