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Mother suspected of ‘£9.5m scam’ ran Magaluf sex video bar

The mother-of-two being investigated over an alleged £9.5 million holiday food poisoning scam ran the Magaluf bar where a British tourist was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men for a cheap drink.

Millionaire entrepreneur Laura Joyce was hit with a €55,000 fine and one-year closure order after the scandal which sparked a local authority crackdown to clean up Magaluf’s Punta Ballena party strip.

An appeal against the punishment – also meted out to bar crawl company Carnage – is still going through the courts.

Laura Joyce, 37, is suspected of involvement with a multi-million pound fake food poisoning scam

Ms Joyce’s bar Playhouse was identified as the venue where the notorious June 2014 footage was recorded following an investigation by local police in Calvia, the municipality Magaluf forms part of.

The fallout from the infamous video sparked a crackdown on bar crawls in the party resort after regional governors described the ‘outrageous’ sex scenes as giving the area and women ‘a terrible image’ and promised to ‘stop it whichever way’ they could.

Majorca’s top politician at the time, Jose Ramon Bauza, branded Punta Ballena ‘500 metres of shame’ after the 18-year-old at the centre of the viral video was reportedly duped into performing the sex acts for what she thought was a free break that turned out to be a cocktail named ‘Holiday’.

Ms Joyce, who was not at her bar when the incident occurred, shut Playhouse down soon after.

Ms Joyce's bar Playhouse, in Magaluf, was the setting for a viral video in which a British girl was filmed performing a sex act on 24 men after being told she could win a 'holiday'

Ms Joyce’s bar Playhouse, in Magaluf, was the setting for a viral video in which a British girl was filmed performing a sex act on 24 men after being told she could win a ‘holiday’

The nightspot, where the Essex-born expat also ran a late-night music venue called The Project through a Spanish company, is now vacant.

The businesswoman, still reeling from her arrest last week by Spanish police probing a massive holiday bug compensation fraud, was appointed vice chairman of a new association designed to improve Magaluf’s image just four months later.

She told a local paper which reported on the launch of the new association Calvia Con Futuro – Calvia With A Future in English: ‘There’s no need to get rid of Magaluf. We just need to hold our hands up, and that includes the police, the council and other associations, and admit where we’ve made mistakes and fix hem so that we can improve the image of Magaluf so parents and their kids can come here on holiday, feel safe and have a good time.

Ms Joyce was not at her bar at the time a girl was reportedly duped into performing the sex act

Ms Joyce was not at her bar at the time a girl was reportedly duped into performing the sex act

‘There’s a wide range of issues we’ve got to look at, excessive drinking, noise etc, but we want people thinking for the overall good of the resort, not themselves, and I am on the board on behalf of the non-Spanish business community.’

Well-placed sources said today an appeal against the fine and closure order was still unresolved.

The appeal against the decision – also being contested by Carnage – is believed to have reached a local court after going as far as it could with the council.

Ms Joyce, who promised things would be ‘bigger and better’ when she opened Playhouse three months before the infamous X-rated film was shot, is now running two firms including a promotion event company.

A source said: ‘Laura’s involvement with the bar that became synonymous with the sex video is no secret on the Magaluf party scene but it’s not something she advertises among her well-heeled friends for obvious reasons.

‘She wasn’t at the bar the night it happened and she didn’t organise the X-rated bar crawl.

‘But she was held partly responsible because it occurred in her nightspot and that’s why she got the fine.’

Manuel Onieva, mayor of Calvia when the infamous sex video went viral, spoke of his disgust at the footage and warned bars faced closure if they were found to have broken the law

Manuel Onieva, mayor of Calvia when the infamous sex video went viral, spoke of his disgust at the footage and warned bars faced closure if they were found to have broken the law

The man identified at the time as the organiser of the pub crawl, tattooed kick boxer Alan Collinson who was dubbed King Carnage, was later arrested for beating up his girlfriend.

He admitted the assault in court in May 2015 and agreed to a six-month restraining order and 22 hours of community service as well as an €800 fine.

Heavily-pregnant Laura is currently resting at her mum’s luxury villa in the upmarket residential neighbourhood of Bendinat near Magaluf after being released from custody following a court appearance on Thursday.

The 37-year-old had to hand in her passport before being set free after being told she would continue to be investigated on suspicion of employing middlemen to entice holidaymakers to fabricate or embellish symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation from Spanish hotels.

Manuel Onieva, mayor of Calvia when the infamous sex video went viral, spoke of his disgust at the footage and warned bars faced closure if they were found to have broken the law.

Ms Joyce's bar was fined thousands and closed down for a year after the sex act video went viral

Ms Joyce’s bar was fined thousands and closed down for a year after the sex act video went viral

The council said it was fining Playhouse and Carnage and closing them down for 12 months because they had failed to comply with laws which made them responsible for ensuring under-age children had not witnessed the sordid events from inside or outside the bar.

It also said there had been a clear breach of the law because a pornographic show had taken place in an establishment licenced to operate as a music bar.

Juan Feliu, council licensing boss at the time, said in July 2014: ‘The law states quite clearly that under-age children cannot participate in or witness pornographic shows.

‘Establishments like Playhouse have a responsibility to make sure the law is upheld and we say the bar and Carnage have not adopted all objective measures to guarantee that was the case.

‘The sole possibility that there were under-age children present is a more than sufficient reason to sanction according to the law.

‘Playhouse has windows for instance and from outside you can see what’s happening inside.

‘The police report is very comprehensive and the town hall obviously feels it has enough evidence to name Playhouse as the bar where the video was taken.’

Magaluf was branded a lawless party resort after the shocking sex video emerged.

Calvia town hall said in a formal statement released in July 2014: ‘Calvia town hall has notified the owner of Playhouse in Martin Ros Garcia Street and those responsible for the firm Carnage Magaluf of a sanction of 12 months closure and a €55,000 fine.

‘It notified them after determining, following a full Calvia local police investigation, that it was in the Playhouse bar that multiple sex acts filmed on video and posted on the Internet took place.

‘The incidents took place in mid-June according to the police report.

‘The town hall also holds Carnage Magaluf responsible, because it was the organiser and promoter of the activity that took place during the pub crawl when the illegal act was committed.’ 

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