BRUCE WILLIS has been drawn into an international financial scandal — through his one-time Spanish squeeze Maria Bravo!
The beauty with a shady background — she once helped run her mother’s brothel — is now wanted by cops investigating a multimillion-dollar stock scam.
Investigators believe she is on the run and may be in the U.S. near Willis.
Cops want to interview Willis to see if he knows the whereabouts of the sexy 33-year-old senorita, say insiders — and if he knows anything about the crooked “boiler room” scam she allegedly helped run while dating the Hollywood star!
Revealed a source with inside information about the probe: “The police want to arrest her and her estranged husband, stockbroker John Pierre Gonyou.”
Cops believe Gonyou is in Spain and think Maria could be in California, where she lived for much of the 1990s.
“She’s on the run, she’s desperate for money, and cops believe she could go to Willis for help,” said the source.
But a source close to Willis declared: “Bruce cringes at the very name of Maria Bravo. He doesn’t want anything to do with her.
“Since Bruce and Maria broke up, he hasn’t had any contact with her. But now that she is wanted by the law, Bruce is afraid she’ll come running to him for help.”
Authorities in Thailand and Hong Kong say Maria and French-Canadian financier Gonyou ran a scam based in Bangkok.
High-pressure salesmen working for a company called Capital Advisory Corporation phoned innocent investors to persuade them to buy shares in little-known companies — “penny stocks” traded on the loosely regulated Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board market in the U.S.
Bruce lost his job as spokesman for Seagram’s liquors after he was arrested for drunken driving.
A firm in the Bahamas also linked to Gonyou was doing the same thing.
Salesmen used a classic “pump-and-dump” operation to keep prices artificially high, ignoring sell orders from investors — then disappearing with the money.
Sultry Maria even conned Willis, an insider told The ENQUIRER.
“When Maria first met Bruce, she boasted that she was a member of the Madrid Stock Exchange.
“But inquiries in the Spanish capital established she was unknown in financial circles there!”
Meanwhile Bruce already has a new woman in his life: beautiful 21-year-old Eva Jasanovska, Miss Czech Republic 1999. The pair reportedly met at a nightspot when he was in Prague filming a movie — and now she’s Bruce’s Czech-mate!
— JOHN COOKE and LARRY HALEY