Couple scammed Dutch hotels, B&B's out of €20,000, Prosecutor says

Couple 62-year-old Jan V. and 53-year-old Jolanda H. scammed a total of 62 owners of hotels and B&B's out of 20 thousand euros by staying in the establishments and leaving without paying the bill, was revealed in the court of Assen. The Public Prosecutor demanded 4 and 3 years in prison against them respectively. The couple confessed to everything, AD reports. 

In addition to running up high bills at hotels and B&B's and then leaving with the bill unpaid, the couple also targeted members of the religious community, according to the Public Prosecutor. They searched for victims online, getting names and addresses on churches' websites. They then visited the unsuspecting people, saying they are members of the same church in another congregation. At some point V. and H. would say they forgot their wallets at home, and can they borrow a few hundred euros for a short time. They never paid the money back. 

The couple was caught after a hotel owner from Tubbergen posted their photo on Facebook in August last year. Soon other victims came forward. Between August 2017 and August 2018, the couple scammed hospitality businesses in Drenthe, Groningen, Friesland and Overijssel. The two eventually turned themselves in to the police in Assen. They have been in custody since. 

H. and V. have known each other for 18 years and have been convicted for several scams in the past, according to AD. Jan V. told the court that they got into financial trouble once central judicial collection agency CJIB started collecting the money for previous damage claims.