Escazú Businessman Arrested in Lottery Scam

February 1, 2008
Police on Monday arrested a U.S. citizen in the western San José suburb of San Rafael de Escazú, wanted in his home country for  alleged involvementin a lottery con that grossed up to $40 million, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) reported.
Identified by the Interpol as Severin Marcel Stone, the suspect was getting into a Toyota 4×4 when U.S. and Costa Rican law enforcement agents detained him at 2 p.m., the Interpol report said.
It was the latest arrest in an alleged con operation, which police believe involved 36 others – many of whom have been arrested on Tico soil. The con consisted of calling victims on the phone to tell them they had  won a prize of between $300,000 and $450,000, which required payment of a “security deposit” before the award could be retrieved.
Wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stone resided in Costa Rica, running a raw food restaurant recently relocated to Plaza Colonial in San Rafael de Escazú.
In a June interview about his restaurant, Stone told The Tico Times he had been living in the country for more than three years. He said he became interested in nutrition while his Costa Rican wife was pregnant with their son (TT, June 29, 2007).
U.S. officials issued a warrant for his arrest last Friday to extradite Stone swiftly back to the United States for prosecution.
 
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