The court building in Palma. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

The Prosecutor's Office in Mallorca is calling for a fifteen-month sentence for an intermediary who is accused of laundering funds from a holiday let scam.

The charge is that this person was used by the perpetrators of the crime to collect the cash from a fraud involving a holiday rental property in Pollensa that had been advertised on Owners Direct. The owner of the villa had placed an advertisement for summer 2013, but the details were copied.

A British holidaymaker responded to the fake ad and booked the villa for two weeks in high summer. Two transfers were made to a bank account which had been opened by the intermediary. After these were made, all the cash was withdrawn, and the defendant was given a percentage.

When the holidaymaker arrived at the end of July, he found that the villa was already occupied. It had been rented out by the real owner. There was no possibility of claiming the money back, but the fraud was reported and an investigation opened.

The police have not been able to trace the people behind the scam, pointing out that "digital mules", such as the intermediary in this case, are quite common for this type of crime.

A further issue has been a huge delay in the investigation that was opened by an Inca court of instruction in 2013. Last week, the defendant finally appeared before a Palma criminal court for a pre-trial hearing. An agreement between the prosecution and defence was not possible and so there will be a trial in the coming weeks.

In addition to the prison sentence, the Prosecutor's Office is demanding the payment of a 9,000 euros fine and 4,315 euros compensation to the victim.