In 2011, 68-year-old Robyn A. M. from Australia believed she had found the love of her life. Her Facebook friendship with Nicaraguan student Bismarck A.L., 36, had developed into so much more than she could have hoped for.
After three years of virtual intimacy, Robyn traveled from Singleton, New South Wales, to Madrid to meet her suitor. The encounter was a success and Bismarck, ever the perfect gentleman, continued to woo her. So in love were they that it didn’t seem at all odd when he suggested she sell her home in Australia and buy a flat in Madrid where they could live together.
“When you transferred me the money, you were under my control,” Bismarck told her
Robyn agreed and, in February 2015, she transferred €136,347 from Wetpack Banking Corporation to Bismarck’s account in the Spanish capital. Bismarck bought a flat in the commuter town of Alcalá de Henares on the outskirts of Madrid and told Robyn she wouldn’t be able to put her name on the property deed as she lacked the required Identification Number for Foreigners (NIE), a document which costs €9.45 and can be obtained from embassies in just five days.
In June 2015, Robyn received some unexpected news: Bismarck told her he was already married to a Spanish woman and had a four-year-old daughter. They would all be living together in the flat he had just bought with her money, he said. Understandably, Robyn flew into a rage and told Bismarck in no uncertain terms that she wanted to sell the property and for him to return her money.
Bismarck went onto the attack and wrote a stream of messages on Facebook, including one that called her “ an arrogant old woman.”
“The property is in my name, not yours, you idiot. I’ll throw you out,” he said in a mail. “There’s nothing to say the house is yours. I’ll sell it if and when I want,” said another. “And I will treat you well when you deserve it. Starting from tomorrow, I’m going to watch you in the house.” In more sinister vein, he said: “The first thing I’m going to do is be your enemy,” adding in another, “As soon as you transferred me the money, you were in my power and under my control.”
To all of this, the beleaguered Robyn replied: “You’re not my employer, you’re my lover.”
This week, Bismarck found himself on the bench of Madrid’s Provincial Court as the prosecutor demanded seven-and-a-half years behind bars for severe threats and fraud. He also demanded a three-year restraining order and, of course, the return of the €136,347 that paid for the supposed love nest in Alcalá de Henares.
English version by Heather Galloway.