San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Two U.S. Citizens Arrested, Accused of Fraud

A U.S. citizen accused of fraud and money laundering identified by the name Max Allan Stone, 60, was arrested by International Police (INTERPOL) Saturday in Escazú, west of San José, according to a statement from INTERPOL.

Stone, who is also known by the name Oscar Chernoff, has lived in Costa Rica since the 1990s, according to the daily La Nación. U.S. police issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged fraud and laundering millions of dollars.

Costa Rican police, together with INTERPOL, arrested Stone as he left his home Saturday. He was ordered two months’ preventive prison Wednesday and faces extradition to the United States, according to a statement from the Judicial Branch.

Police suspect Stone to be the owner of two Internet gambling operations, or sportsbooks: one in Santa Ana, west of San José, and another in La Sabana, on the western edge of San José, the statement said.

Another U.S. citizen suspected of fraud identified by the name Michael Forchemer was arrested Wednesday at his home in Ciudad Colón, southwest of San José, according to a statement from INTERPOL.

Forchemer, 51, is accused in the United States of carrying out a fraudulent operation through which he allegedly called people to inform them they had won $300,000. Claiming to be an agent of a fictitious U.S. Raffle Commission in WashingtonD.C., Forchemer allegedly told people he called that they had won $300,000 but that they must first send a “security deposit” of several thousand dollars, which would be returned to them later, the statement said.

Many of these calls were made from Costa Rica, the statement said. Forchemer entered Costa Rica for the first time Sept. 26, 2002 and later entered the country several times through Nicaragua and Panama, the statement said. He remains under police custody and faces extradition to the United States.


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