In 2000, Mateo Hernandez seized ownership of three plots of rural land for 180,000 euros. Two years later they were sold for 5.4 million euros to the real estate group, Eden del Mar to build upon. Mateo was deputy mayor of Torrevieja at the time and was responsible for development projects in the town.
Payment was staged and was protected by a clause that said that the land would have to be returned to Mateo in the case of a default. This was annulled in February 2013 when the final payment was made.
Eden del Mar have now sold that land for 1.1 million euros, one fifth of the price they paid.