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BONOLOTO FORTUNE DISAPPEARED IN BANKS

A Bonoloto winner from 2006 has lost his €6.5 million winnings after inadvertently using his fortunes towards investments which he claims he didn’t understand.

Winning the Spanish Bonoloto lottery is usually a huge positive for people, however not in the case of Francisco Guerrero who experienced a turbulent ride, going from having everything to nothing in the space of seven years.

Mr Guerrero initially took his winnings to an anonymous bank, and left it in their hands which lead to disastrous results. He lost over three million due to some financial transactions which he claimed were executed blindly. Due to this he decided to make a change and went to the Santander Bank headquarters in Castelló in 2007, seeking help with his remaining money.

Unfortunately for him he was to be involved in another bad experience with his new choice of bank after agreeing to make a trident investment. He lost the two and a half million which he still had, 1,200,000 which he kept for himself, and the rest which he had put towards his sons in inheritance immediately after winning his Bonoloto prize.

He claims that bank managers tricked him into making an investment into something he didn’t understand, saying, “I have been cheated and they robbed me.”

He has now decided that he is going to take action against Santander Bank for what he described as playing with and losing his money, investing it in “toxic” products, the name of which he can’t even pronounce. Speaking of his experience he expressed: “I still do not know what happened, I signed things but did not know what I was signing, because I trusted them.”

The Valencian lawyer Diego Muñoz-Cobo, who represents Mr Guerrero, expressed his client is a man who has never gone to school, and that he was not prepared for such kind of investments nor has the knowledge or profile of an investor. He said his client has been cheated, and is willing to fight for his rights.

According to the lawyer, Santander invested Mr Guerrero’s money in these products while he and his sons continued with their life, unaware of everything that was going on. It was only when he went to the bank and asked for €30,000 to use for knee surgery that he realised his money was gone.

His lawyer believes that he was not informed of the risks involved in investing in the “trident” funds, and that he never knew the full extent of the matter. Unfortunately for him, he passed the suitability test, the MiFID questionnaire, which assesses an investors’ profile.

Santander have argued back against Mr Guerrero’s claims stating, “The bank scrupulously complies with the rules of product marketing.” It will be a judge who imposes order and decides whether the bank took advantage of his money and his trust.”

Either way, this story looks likely to rumble on.