HOTEL bosses in Majorca are demanding a six-and-a-half year prison sentence for a British mum charged over a holiday food poisoning scam.
Essex-born Laura Joyce, 44, is one of eight accused of swindling three Majorca hotels out of around £9.5million after tourists were convinced to make fake claims.
She allegedly used middlemen to encourage holidaymakers to fake illness to claim compensation.
A court accused Laura and her brother Marc Cameron Grimstead of forming the “profit-motivated organised gang” through a Spanish company they called Elite Project Marketing SL.
They have been charged with fraud and membership of a criminal gang.
The siblings face trial along with five other Brits they allegedly hired to persuade holidaymakers to make false food poisoning claims – and getting a UK-based businessman to process them.
They have been named as Ryan Bridges, Simon Robert Flanagan, Tegan Jewel Sumerlee, Susan Amanda Lyle, Nicola Marie Sanderson, andCarl Murphy.
Detectives are said to have estimated the losses of the three hotel groups as a result of the alleged scam between 2016 and 2017 at around £9.5 million.
Mum-of-three was warned earlier this year she could be given a high prison sentence if she is found guilty of being the ringleader.
In new documents seen by The Sun, the Majorca Hoteliers Federation said it wants Laura to be jailed for five years if she is found guilty of aggravated fraud and another year and six months if she is convicted of belonging to a criminal gang.
In the seven-page indictment lodged with the courts, it said it also wants her brother Marc jailed for five years – four for aggravated fraud and 12 months for membership of a criminal gang.
It demanded the same sentence for Ryan – described as the one who processed fake food poisoning claims “conscious the intoxications didn’t exist”.
It said the five other Brits should receive aterm totalling three years and nine months, if convicted of both charges.
No date for the trial, expected to take placeyear, has yet been set.
As well as prison sentences, the hotel federation said it wants all eight Brits fined if convicted – and to pay compensation “at the amount determined after the trial”.
It said losses have been calculated so far at more than €1,243million (£1.069 million).
Spanish prosecutors have not yet said what sentences and fines they are seeking for the accused Brits.
It’s understood they could face at least eight years in jail if they are proven to have defrauded more than €400,000.
More than 800 tourists made claims against one of thehotels – with just 38 of them needing genuine medical assistance.
A six-page ruling issued by ain Majorca said: “The gang specialised in obtaining the details of British tourists in all-inclusive in Majorca it convinced, through a form they themselves elaborated, to falsely claim they had been ill during their stay in one of those hotels and be able to claim compensation in the UK.”
Laura was arrested in September 2017 and pictured in handcuffs while heavily pregnant.
After she appeared in court in May 2018, her lawyer Gabriel Llado said she had admitted passing on names and phone numbers of holidaymakers for payment
But she insisted it was part of a pure market research exercise.
He insisted neither Laura nor any of the so-called “claims farmers” she used to gather data of tourists she passed on to others in the UK, encouraged them to get chemist’s receipts so they could make fake food poisoning claims as police and hoteliers’ representatives have claimed.
And he claimed Laura had only spent just a few months doing it and stopped because she was earning very little.
No further action was ever taken against Laura’s mum Debbie.
Debbie was held at avilla in upmarket Bendinat with Laura after a raid – but was freed before she went to court.
After Laura was arrested, it emerged her Magaluf bar Playhouse had been identified as the venue where a British tourist was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men for a cheap drink in theof 2014.
The fallout from the infamous video sparked a crackdown on bar crawls in the party resort.
Laura, who was not at her bar when the incident occurred, shut Playhouse down soon after.