By Humphrey Carter

Palma.—The on-going investigation into an alleged six million pound fraudulent investment scheme took a new twist this week when the wife, daughter and son of the former British resident in Majorca, John Hirst, were arrested and charged in relation to the “Ponzi” scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organisation, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors and many of those caught in the alleged trap are British expatriates living here in Majorca.

On Tuesday, Hirst's wife Linda, 61, daughter Zoe, 35 and son Daniel, 34, appeared before Bradford Magistrates Court in response to a summons in connection with the alleged scheme and were charged with offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. They are apparently facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy to fraud.

On March 16, John Hirst, was charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering through Gilher Inc, a Panama and Seychelles registered company which invested funds on behalf of private clients, some in the United States and France as well, who also lost their savings.

Hirst's associate in Majorca, Richard Pollett, who is currently in Palma prison, is now apparently facing extradition to the UK as part of the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.