Larnaca Criminal Court on Monday sentenced Mohamed Jamel Ben Hassen, also known as Yiorgos Krasopoulos, to seven years in jail after he pleaded guilty to scamming 267 unemployed Cypriots with the promise of a job in France in 2013.
The 64 year old Tunisian national had in 2013 scammed €165,000 from the victims, sending 72 of them to France even though he knew there was no job waiting for them there.
He had received €620 from each one. More than 450 people are believed to have been duped, though many did not file a complaint with police
The court described the action as organized fraud and targeted exploitation of dozens of citizens.
The case was first revealed in July, 2013 by Phileleftheros which led Larnaca CID to launch an investigation.
Krasopoulos was extradited to Cyprus in January, 2019 after completing a jail term in Greece for fraud.
Police said that in June 2013, the company Krasopoulos International Ltd had advertised job vacancies for a residential project in Lille, France, promising good wages and accommodation.
Employees undertook to pay €620 on the signing of their contract and another €600 when they started work in France.
In early September 2013, 72 people traveled to Lille to take up employment only to find that there were no jobs.