Empty, derelict warehouses from the factory are the first thing to greet visitors to the town. But even more depressing is hearing the stories of people like Porcar and Valls, who were banking on preferential shares as a financial cushion during hard times.

"I just want to recover my money," said Valls, who depends on a small pension plan. "I still can't understand how a scam like this can be permitted."

Porcar darkly hints at more drastic measures.

"I'm ready to go to jail," 41-year-old said. "Nobody messes with my mother's money."

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