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Costa Rica Officials Face Investigation Over Campaign Money

The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Costa Rica conducted a raid on Wednesday of the Lexincorp law offices in San José, as part of an ongoing investigation into purported illegal financing of President Rodrigo Chaves’ 2022 election campaign.

The raid comes amid a probe into an alleged parallel financing structure that benefitted Chaves’ ruling Social Democratic Progress Party (PPSD), according to our sources in the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The controversial financing was supposedly carried out via the Costa Rica Prospera trust fund at Banco Nacional, which gathered private donations later used to cover off-book campaign expenses.

Notably, Lexincorp co-founder and Foreign Minister Arnoldo André Tinoco has been implicated in the case, which is officially recorded under file No. 22-000116-1218-PE. Others under investigation include President Chaves himself, PPSD President Luz Mary Alpízar Loaiza, and legislator Waldo Agüero Sanabria.

Prosecutors spent Wednesday morning and afternoon searching Lexincorp for evidence, given that ATA Trust Company – of which Tinoco serves as President – acted as the trustee managing the Prospera trust fund that allegedly financed the PPSD illegally.

As was previously uncovered, ATA Trust covered various campaign costs for Chaves and the PPSD, from advertising to travel, despite election regulations. Contributors to the Prospera trust included Tinoco himself, as well as Jack Loeb Casanova and Bernal Jiménez Chavarría.

The raid specifically targeted ATA Trust offices located within Lexincorp’s facilities, according to managing partner Alonso Vargas Araya. Lexincorp maintains it fully cooperated with authorities.

Beyond the Prospera fund, prosecutors are also looking into another alleged covert financing network supposedly operated through accounts controlled by Chaves’ former aide.

The PPSD has stated its intention to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into any illicit campaign financing. Costa Rica’s Penal Code stipulates 2-4 year prison sentences for illegal party financing. As the probe continues, the Tico Times will be monitoring the situation closely and providing further updates.

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