Wednesday, 19 August 2015 - 16:04
Dutch seize solar power fraudster's Costa Rican fortune
At the request of Dutch authorities, the judicial authorities in Costa Rica has seized about one million euros in property and bank accounts of a 57 year old Dutchman and his former Spanish life partner. The Dutchman is the prime suspect in an ongoing FIOD investigation into millions worth of fraud involving investments in Spanish solar energy plantations. The Public Prosecutor announced this on Wednesday. The FIOD investigation into the investment fraud was launched in February 2012. The suspect was arrested in June 2013 and handed over to the Netherlands. In September 2013 the court released him from custody and he has been living in Costa Rica ever since. According to the Public Prosecutor, the 57 year old man conned 314 investors out of approximately 8.5 million euros. He convinced them to invest money into solar energy plantations. Instead of investing their money as promised, he used it to buy building land in Costa Rica and built a spacious villa with adjoining small hotel on one of the most expensive places in the Central American country. The Dutch company that managed the investments went bankrupt in 2009. The investors only recovered a fraction of their investments and promised returns. A guarantee fund that the suspect promised to the investors never existed. The Dutch authorities asked the judicial authorities of Costa Rica to seize the Dutch suspect's property and bank accounts in order to secure as much funds as possible for the man's victims. The Public Prosecutor is working with the bankruptcy administrators on this matter. The Dutch suspect's ex-partner is suspected of involvement in the investment fraud and money laundering.