Costa Rica’s Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría on Monday reported that he had filed fraud charges against three members of the Libertarian Movement Party (ML) for alleged fraud committed against the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) during the 2010 presidential elections.
The charges were issued for reporting false expenses totaling ₡240 million ($480,000), money that was apparently used to pay for 190 “training courses.”
Charged are Libertarian training manager Carlos Solano, treasurer Ronaldo Alfaro and the party’s accountant, Roger Segura. Presidential candidate Otto Guevara is not on the list of persons under investigation, the chief prosecutor said.
TSE officials said the accusations surfaced after “extensive research on three political parties suspected of committing crimes involving ₡698 million (some $1.4 million) provided by the state for financing the electoral process.
The political parties under investigation are the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), Citizen Action Party (PAC) and the Libertarian Movement Party (ML).
Chavarría said the investigation is ongoing against PLN lawmakers Antonio Calderón, Oscar Alfaro and Alicia Fournier, who might be charged with violations of the Electoral Code for also reporting fake expenses totaling ₡30 million ($60,000).
The Prosecutors’ Office also is currently conducting an investigation of PAC members Minor Sterling and Antonio Bolaños for allegedly using false documents to report expenses totaling ₡428 million ($850,000), Chavarría said.