The builder and the architect in court. | A. Sepúlveda

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A builder has been jailed for fraud and fined 1,890 euros.

The court heard that the defendant bought a 182 square metre property in Palma in 2007 with a 66 square metre courtyard which could only be used for storage.

Building permit applications to convert the courtyard into studio offices were repeatedly denied by Palma City Council but he went ahead and built them without permission, then sold them for between 65,000 and 84,960 euros in 2010 and 2011.

The judge determined that an architect who was involved in the project was unaware of the scam and has been acquitted.

In addition to his prison sentence, the builder has has been ordered to give back every penny buyers paid for their properties.