San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Minor Vargas pleads not guilty in U.S. federal court

Two Costa Rican men accused of defrauding clients and investors in a $670 million insurance industry scam pleaded not guilty to seven charges in U.S. federal court Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

Minor Vargas and Jorge Luis Castillo were arraigned on conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud charges. Both men plead not guilty and requested a jury trial. A judge set a tentative trial date for Apr. 12, although that date is likely to be extended because of the complexity of the case.

Minor Vargas, the president and CEO of Costa Rican-based Provident Capital Indemnity (PCI), and auditor Castillo were are charged with misleading investors on life insurance policies. FBI investigators were seen in Costa Rica this week gathering evidence.

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