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OIJ Searching For Owners Of Investment Companies

August 17, 2007

Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ) agents are searching for two suspects – a nationalized Costa Rican from the United States and an Heredia resident – who allegedly ran two companies that illegally received payments from investors totaling millions of dollars.

The companies, Consultores Las Tres Américas and Fomac International Group, located in San José, allegedly received money from dozens of investors and offered monthly interests between 4% and 5%, according to OIJ spokesman Francisco Ruiz.

A group of investors appeared at the OIJ offices in downtown San José Monday to file a formal complaint in the case, alleging that the two partners in the company stopped paying back clients and closed their doors about two weeks ago. Some 20 investors had invested about $500,000 each in the companies. Another 60 each invested $100,000 or more. Other investors each invested some $50,000, the daily La Nación reported.

The U.S. citizen, James Roberts, is a 69-year-old civil engineer who is reportedly at his home in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The Heredia resident, Francisco Jiménez, is a 67-year-old Costa Rican who reportedly left the country Aug. 2 to go to Guatemala.

The offices of Fomac, in La Pitahaya, San José, closed a day after Jiménez left the country.

Roberts attended investors at the Las Tres Américas, while his alleged partner Jiménez did the same at the Fomac offices.

The company didn’t advertise, but relied on recommendations from other clients, the daily reported.

Judicial Branch spokesman Federico Venegas said the Prosecutor’s Office of Economic Crimes is investigating Roberts on suspicion of fraud. Roberts’ company, which was registered as a consulting business, has moved some $2.7 million in transfers through its Interfin account since 2004, much of which was sent to the United States.

Jiménez’s lawyer Federico Campos told La Nación that the companies received up to $7 million in investments while operating in Costa Rica. The money was invested in Forex, an international currency trading market, Campos said.

 

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