A travel agent, Maria Silvia, has defrauded Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, of about £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.
The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.
Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017, Sun Sports reported.
It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted as a victim of Silvia’s scamming spree for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.
Quoting a renowned Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police in 2011.
The paper read, “The travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”
According to the newspaper, the £245,770 scammed from Ronaldo corresponded with around 200 trips that he never made between Portugal to the US, Africa, and other European countries.
The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2013 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.
As part of her court deal, she had agreed to repay her firm a sum of £7,680 sparing her prison sentence.