Latin America

Spanish fake flamenco star who conned dozens in Colombia arrested

García allegedly swindled people by passing himself off as a top singer and lawyer

Video: One of Miguel Garo’s music spots.

The number one flamenco pop music star in Spain was how Miguel José García Orellana promoted himself online for many years.

His Facebook and Twitters pages were filled with his alleged accomplishments, including recording for Warner Music Spain and working with multi-Latin Grammy-winning producer Kike Santander and singer Gloria Estefan and her producer-husband Emilio Estefan.

García Orellana had also claimed to be son of the famous Spanish singers Manolo García and Marisol.

The suspect claimed to have worked with singer Gloria Estefan and her husband

He used his impressive credentials to avoid the Spanish authorities, who issued an arrest warrant for the “singer” for allegedly swindling people. Two Interpol red alerts had been issued against him.

Since 2013, García Orellana – who went by the stage name of Miguel Garo – had been hiding out in Colombia, where he also reportedly swindled others and faces charges including falsifying and hiding public documents, robbery, making threats and slander.

On Wednesday, the international chase for the fake flamenco star ended when Colombia immigration officials detained him in Cali for not having the proper papers to work and reside in the South American nation.

If being a famous musician weren’t enough, García Orellana also reportedly passed himself off as a lawyer and the manager of a legal firm called Grupo Columbia Abogados SAS.

“This is a title that he does not have and much less would have had validated in this country as his credentials say,” said a statement from the Colombian migratory service.

At one point, he reportedly even faked his own death in a traffic accident to avoid getting caught

According to the agency, García Orellana used this title to defraud several Colombian citizens. He also advertised art sales and auctions on the company’s Facebook page.

The Cali daily El País quoted one woman who claimed that the Spaniard took her money after she paid him to represent her in a legal dispute.

Bogota’s El Tiempo newspaper reported that García Orellana first entered the country in 2010 and married and divorced twice so he could get his residency papers. He had been leaving and re-entering Colombia up until 2013, when he decided to hide out there from the Spanish authorities, officials said.

At one point, he reportedly even faked his own death in a traffic accident to avoid getting caught by Spanish authorities.

The suspect will be turned over to Interpol agents in Colombia to formalize his arrest, which will likely lead to his extradition to Spain.


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