San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Grenada Officials Seek Extradition of U.S. Pastor

RICHARD Hinkle, a businessman and former pastor facing extradition by U.S. authorities for allegedly swindling 30 people out of $3.6 million, is also wanted in the Caribbean island of Grenada, La Nación reported.

Hinkle, 38, is currently serving a two-month preventive prison sentence at the San Sebastian jail in San José, according to sources in the Judicial Branch.

Hinkle has ties to the now-defunct Cornerstone International Savings & Investment Bank Ltd in Grenada (TT, Nov. 7, 2003). The bank was ordered to liquidate its assets in July 2003, according to a release from J.A. Seales & Co., a West Indies law firm.

Jerry A. Seales, of the same law firm, was in Costa Rica this week with another lawyer, Garvey Louison, to explore the possibility of extraditing Hinkle to Grenada, La Nación reported. Louison was commissioned by a Granada court to supervise the bank’s liquidation, while Seales is representing investors.

Prosecutors allege that Hinkle, arrested Feb. 27 in Heredia, used the bank to commit 19 counts of wire fraud and 40 counts of money laundering, paying investors $640,000 while diverting money to his own accounts (TT, March 5).

Hinkle, who also owns the Brand Fashion clothing store in the Real Cariari Mall, was kidnapped in October of last year, which he speculated then might have had something to do with his involvement in Cornerstone Bank.

He was rescued in Escazú by a special police unit three days after his capture (TT, Oct. 31, 2003).


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