Little Nicolás - "friend" of the powerful

Exposed: student conman who fooled king

A 20-year-old student from an elite business school who was arrested last week on suspicion of swindling, forging documents and impersonating public officials cozied up to the cream of Spanish society, even managing to attend King Felipe VI’s proclamation.

Who is Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias?

Now millions of people in Spain have heard of the fresh-faced man just out of his teens who in just a few years and without any official position in public life managed to hobnob with leading politicians and business figures, even attempting to negotiate in legal matters on behalf of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos.

a conman /  a con / to con sb -

to fool sb -

to arrest sb -

to swindle -

to cozy up to sb -

the cream of society -

to manage to do stg -

to attend (a meeting) -

to hear of sb/stg -

to hobnob with sb -

on behalf of sb -

wunderkind (n) -

charm (n) / charming (adj) -

to back sb -

to smooth away doubts -

to sum up -

slicked back (hair) -

to bow (your head) -

to shake (hands) -

slightly (adv) -

bemused (adj) -

as well he might -

daily (adj) -

a guest -

due to (= because of) -

ongoing (adj) -

besides (linker) -

tangled (adj) -

to start out -

a think-tank -

a supporter / to support (a political party) -

to set up -

a request (v,n) -

to refuse -

to claim to (be sb) -

former (adj) -

owing to -

according to -

a source -

to seize (an opportunity) -

to get your hands on stg -

on the pretence of doing stg -

to upload -

to memorise stg -

thus (= so - fml) -

to boast -

to involve -

to withdraw (an accusation) -

a loan -

to come home to roost (pigeons) -

a bodyguard -

a fleet (of cars) -

paperwork (n) -

an issue -

and the like -

to allege -

to charge (money) -

up to -

a deal -

to point -

to remove -

bail (n) -


Montse said…
Hi, Graham. How are you?
This story is incredible. It's like a script for a comedy. And he is only twenty!!! I guess he has a great future as a conman.
I'm sorry you can come to the theatre with us.
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham! It's Cristina. I've read this post. It has some interesting words I had no idea the meaning of.

See you tomorrow.
Roberto said…
Hi,Montse and Graham...
An example(bad example in this case),of all the things you can do,if you know the right person(especially in Countries like Spain,where "amiguismos" y "enchufes" are so important.
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham!

It's Sophie from CAE level. This story is so funny . When they said that is Spain is different is really true. I like this words!
May be "El pequeño Nicolas" will use it TOO!
Graham said…
Hi Montse and Roberto,

I agree it is a funny, even bizarre story. How could he have done all that without the help of anyone?

I wonder what will happen to him in the end.

amiguismo = cronyism
un amiguito = a crony
un enchufe = connections, friends in high places

Graham said…
Hi Cristina,

Your ability to remember words never ceases to amaze me.

You could read the same story in the English version of El País - that if Rodrigo allows you. :-)
Graham said…
Hi Sophie,

You should read stories about Spain on a regualar basis. It is so much easier to understand an article if you already have an idea of what the story is about.

When they said that Spain is different, it really is true. I like these words!
Maybe "El pequeño Nicolas" will use them TOO!

José said…

¿Where is the best teacher in the world?

I think that, all over the world, to come home to roost, in spite of such fool people there are in this country. The majority of conman swindles because there are a lot of people ready to seize, that is, to take advantage and to con to other one. Sometimes, it’s funny to see that a student conman cons to the cream of Spanish society, because they thought he was a genius.

See you.

Graham said…

The blog needs you :D

As frustrating as it was, I kind of miss deciphering your comments.

Speaking of which, there is a film about Alan Turing that we all must see together. It should be in Spanish cinemas soon.

I think that, all over the world, chickens come home to roost, in spite of such foolish people there are in this country.

The majority of conmen swindle because there are a lot of people ready to seize a chance, that is, to take advantage and con one another.

Sometimes, it’s funny to see that a student conman cons the cream of Spanish society, because they thought he was a genius.

There is something really fishy about this case. He started hobnobing with top politicians when he was 15.

I can't believe he acted alone.

It just doesn't add up, I can't quite put my finger on it.

Normally journalists are very intrusive but for some reason they aren't pursuing Nicolas and his family.

Why not?

José said…
Thank you very much, Graham, but this blog doesn't need my assistance. You are enough and your blog improves everyday.

I can see in your writing that there is a bit encryption. "It's fishy", "can't put my finger" and why don't journalists pursue this case?

Only there is a reason by a dog doesn't pursue a bone, I think is because that bone was his own bone. LOL

Everyone has been swindled and everyone says nothing because the boss of cream of Spanish society told them: shut up. They are ashamed. This is my opinión.

See you.

Anonymous said…
Thanks for your post Graham. It sounds like a comedy movie. I wonder what he would think of this situation... I´m sure he will seize the opportunity to his own advantage.

Graham said…
Hi José

I used to look forward to your weekly comments. Others might have thought you were off your trolley but I didn't.

I like how you try to use words you find in the post.

There is only one reason for a dog not to pursuse a bone; I think it is because...

So there is no free press in Spain? Are they under the thumb of some higher power?

Graham said…
Hi Charo,

I agree. Sooner or later Nicolas will emerge to make his fortune.

I wonder if we will ever discover who allowed Nicolas to do what he did.