An Italian millionaire suspected of defrauding investors is on the loose once more after a judge ordered him set free for medical reasons.
Matteo Quintavalle, who had been in preventive custody since mid-July, was ordered released due to concerns about his health. Only a week earlier, Quintavalle had been returned to prison after an operation at the ClínicaBíblicaHospital in San José.
Judicial Branch spokesman Fabián Barrantes said the government is not keeping track of Quintavalle’s whereabouts. In July, Quintavalle was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest (TT, July 13).
Though there was speculation in the media that he would try to flee the country, he eventually turned himself in and said he had been staying in the western San José suburb of Escazú (TT, July 20).
Quintavalle stands accused by 17 U.S. businessmen of defrauding them of millions of dollars involving the sale of hotels in Quepos, a port town on the central Pacific coast.
He came to the local media’s attention when he attempted to purchase one of the country’s principal soccer teams, and when that failed to hire away individual players.