San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican businessman sentenced in U.S. to 60 years in prison

A court in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday sentenced former sports magnate and Costa Rican businessman Minor Vargas, 61, to 60 years in prison for the crimes of fraud and money laundering.

Vargas was convicted in April of defrauding customers through the sale of life insurance bonds with Provident Capital Indemnity.

According to prosecutors, Vargas and business partner Jorge Castillo defrauded some $670 million from clients seeking investments in the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada.

He is presumed to have transferred at least $50 million in investments to Costa Rica and other countries.

Vargas was president and owner of Brujas Football Club and Club Deportivo Barrio Mexico, both in Costa Rica. He also was president of powerhouse soccer club Saprissa, and the owner of publishing company Icon Group and a synthetic turf business.

He was arrested in early 2011 while on a trip to New York.

Contact L. Arias at

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