Irish tycoon in ‘swindle’ claims could lose €20m Spanish villa

October 19th, 2012
Story by Gerard Couzens | Irish Independent

MacanthonyAN Irish tycoon who faces the threat of losing his €20m Costa del Sol mansion has denied ripping off property investors.

Football club chairman Darragh MacAnthony is facing allegations in court that he swindled holiday home owners out of hundreds of thousands of euro after failing to deliver furniture ordered for apartments in MoroccoBulgariaand Cape Verde.

Lawyers acting for investors have asked a Spanish judge to seize his Marbella villa so it can be sold to compensate clients if they win their case.

Dublin-born Mr MacAnthony (36) is chairman of Peterborough United Football Club in England and has been involved in the foreign property business since the early 2000s.

A group of over 50 Irish and British buyers claims €492,000 worth of furniture ordered was never delivered. Mr MacAnthony is contesting the claims.

Mr MacAnthony currently has the villa on the market with an asking price of €20m. If secured, the court order would thwart his bid to sell.

The stunning six-bed property, which sits on an 8,770sqm plot high in the mountains overlooking Marbella, boasts its own gym, three swimming pools, a sauna and an eight-car garage.

Mr MacAnthony has already been quizzed in court in Marbella over the claims he swindled holiday home owners out of hundreds of thousands of euro.


A judge in the Costa del Sol town is probing the colourful tycoon and former business associates as part of a criminal investigation into his Spanish-based property firm MacAnthony Realty International (MRI).

Lawyer Antonio Flores, of Marbella’s Lawbird Legal Services, has calculated that the financial claim from MRI customers could surpass €12m.

Mr Flores said: “We have formally requested an extension of the existing criminal complaint to include the property and asked the investigating judge heading the probe to effectively embargo it and prevent its sale until the case is resolved.

“It’s the only asset Mr MacAnthony’s got in Spain and we want to make sure it can be used to ensure our clients are compensated if we end up winning our case in court.”

Mr MacAnthony, who has not been charged with any crime, has said in the past: “There are no foundations behind these allegations. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong and neither did anyone with MRI when I was there.”

Story also publisehd on The Iris Examiner.

18 thoughts on “Irish tycoon in ‘swindle’ claims could lose €20m Spanish villa

  1. Jane

    He deserves to lose every penny he has ! It is good to know that there are lawyers such as Sr.Flores willing to take on someone like Macanthony. Many ordinary people have had their lives ruined by Macanthony . The loss suffered by those who had dealings with MRI is not just financial . He is responsible for the bad reputation of property companies in Spain. His network of estate agencies and financial companies with links to banks and solicitors was all wrong. Corruption at it’s worst !

  2. louie lou

    Judge has decided Spain has no jurisdiction to hear this case so his pretty villa looks like the most secure property on the costa del sol !!!

    So he wins again

  3. simon

    For anybody who has invested money in this project and have lost their faith after the decision of the Judge Beatriz Fernandez to drop the case due to a lack of jurisdiction, it is possible to bring the case in UK and take to court Darragh MacAnthony once and for all.

    For anybody who may be affected by this you may contact me for further information.

  4. antonio

    The Court decision is subject to a “double” appeal, and we are confident that the decision will be reveresed as it is wholly incorrect, both from a substantive law point of view as well as a factual one (one of the defendants is more Spanish than Don Quixote!).

  5. MRI victim

    Are you still hoping to bring Darragh to the UK. to try and prosecute.
    I am happy to support as a victim

  6. Tariq Malik

    I suffered a loss in excess of 250 k euros through MR I and will be more than willing to help him bring to justice.

  7. Terry

    What is the current position regarding bringing Darragh to court and claiming compensation? Is the case against him still being pursued through the courts and if so how do I join the group?

  8. Eddie Glenn

    I would be happy to assist in any action taken against MRI as i lost my life savings of £76000 by investing in a apartment in Silver Mountain and i have all the paperwork to prove it

  9. Marc Power

    I unfortunately took a job with these criminals in the mid naughties and it was a dysfunctional cult with no morals. Left jobless and homeless due to these vermin. Love to see mcanthony jailed. …as a start

  10. Caroline Herron

    There is a company called fast line legal offering to help me get my deposit & furniture money back,I don’t know to trust them or not & they want money up front,who is best to help & has anybody got money back yet

  11. brian

    lets bring him to the uk ,i was conned in bulgaria by mri lets get a group going and fight it all the way , no surrender

  12. Rita Huban

    Hi I would love to see Darragh MacAnthony suffer for a lot of wrong doings I lost my life savings of €90 in a property in cape Verde that never got finished

  13. Mark Webb

    I have had litigation services SL contact me to say they can recover my losses from MRI due to losses in the Bulgarian apartment development 2005. Can you confirm that this is legitimate. Natasha Goodwin of the above is pressuring me to pay a large amount upfront to process a claim

  14. Brian

    Hi Mark I get the same phone calls from Natasha Goodwin too .you can’t trust anyone now .dont mind paying a fee after they get my money back but not up front did u buy in tsarevo burgas ?

  15. Peter Reed

    I have also been contacted by Litigation services. Is this a scam or is it Genuine.
    Has anyone paid or got any money back as yet. what id like to know is how did they get all my details. Which Country I bought in. which complex i bought in
    any comments would be great

  16. Linda

    Vile man. I was conned into buying apartments in Spain and two in Bulgaria and spent my life savings on them! (A fool and his money are easily parted- springs to mind)!

  17. John Boulder

    Not only commit abuses robbing money from investors/buyers.
    The company was shit full of bullies, drugs, bodyguards, sex-affairs. Employees were mistreated by this “Tycoon” (better said mafioso) and his little bosses (Kostas and others)

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