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expat crime

Costa Rica prosecutors seek 20 years in fraud case against US investor Cyrus Sepehr

The trial of U.S. real estate investor Cyrus Sepehr, who is in preventive prison in Costa Rica with crippling post-polio syndrome, continued for a second straight week. On Friday, prosecutors asked judges that Sepehr be given 20 years in prison.

Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky pleads guilty to money laundering charges

Arthur Budovsky, 42, the founder of the Costa Rica-based cyber-currency operation Liberty Reserve, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiring to run a money laundering operation, the U.S. Department of Justice announced last Friday. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Mexico deports US ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch

Mexican authorities on Thursday deported a U.S. teenager known for using an "affluenza" defense in a fatal Texas drunk-driving accident, a month after the fugitive was caught at a resort.

US man with post-polio syndrome protests ‘inhumane conditions’ in Costa Rica prison

When Cyrus Sepehr was thrown into a preventive prison in Costa Rica under suspicion of fraud, he could still walk. But in just four months he's been relegated to a wheel chair, and the left side of his body is now paralyzed.

Dutch couple, laborer found dead at Costa Rica farm

A Dutch couple and one of their employees were found dead Monday on a hardwood plantation in Puntarenas near Costa Rica's central Pacific coast.

Tamarindo hotel owner assaulted again, months after break-in left husband dead

Suzye Lawson, who owns the Villa Alegre bed and breakfast in Playa Langosta near Tamarindo, says she was assaulted again by intruders on Saturday, just eight months after three men broke into the hotel, beat her husband -- who later died -- and stole tens of thousands of dollars.

U.S. man accused of soliciting a minor for sex in Costa Rica says he is being extorted

Reza Ray Ehsan, a 57-year-old family physician from Los Angeles, California, is being charged in Costa Rica for soliciting sex from a girl under 18 years of age.

US man accused of sexually assaulting a minor in Escazú

Agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) arrested the suspect Saturday afternoon at Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside San José, as he attempted to depart Costa Rica on a flight to the U.S.

Ohio man convicted in Costa Rica telemarketing scam

Paul Ronald Toth Jr., 40, of Wintersville, Ohio, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money-laundering concealment as part of a sweepstakes scam that targeted elderly U.S. residents from Costa Rican call centers.

US expats in Costa Rica masterminded massive call center fraud

Call centers are one of the fastest growing sectors of the Costa Rican economy, but this boom industry has a dark side. Costa Rica was home to a massive telemarketing scam that defrauded thousands of U.S. citizens — most over the age of 55 — of upwards of $20 million. Prosecutors in the Western District of North Carolina have convicted 46 defendants from the United States related to the sweepstakes fraud to date.

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