San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Crime Beat

UPDATE: Costa Rican police raid law offices in connection with €8.5 million fraud investigation

Update: Aug. 18, 5:12 p.m.

Antonio Robles, name partner of Robles Oreamuno y Asociados, the law firm searched by Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Tuesday morning, told The Tico Times that the firm had severed ties with a Dutch client who allegedly purchased real estate in Costa Rica with funds from a multi-million-euro scam more than three years ago.

“We are totally unaware of any illicit activities involving him,” Robles said.

The lawyer said that the firm did set up a corporation for the Dutch suspect, Fred Kras, to buy property in Costa Rica but that the firm was unaware of any possible wrong-doing at the time.

Robles said that at some point more than three years ago Kras had told them that he had legal troubles in the Netherlands but would not elaborate. Upon hearing this, Robles said the firm decided to cut ties with Kras and no longer represent his interests in Costa Rica. The firm sent a letter dated Feb. 24, 2014 to Kras’ lawyer in Spain — where the Dutchman was arrested in 2010 — repeating their board’s decision to drop him as a client.

Original article continues here:

Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided the law offices of Robles Oreamuno in downtown San José and in the Pacific beach town of Quepos on Tuesday in connection with a €8.5 million fraud investigation.

OIJ spokeswoman Xinia Zamora said that the raid aimed to discover if the law firm was aware of the illicit source of money used to buy properties in Costa Rica by Dutch businessman Fred Kras. The Dutchman was arrested in Spain in 2010 for defrauding investors in a solar energy scam between August 2007 and September 2009. The funds collected in the scam were invested in Spain and Costa Rica, Zamora said. Kras is under arrest in the Netherlands.

Robles Oreamuno set up a corporation used to buy properties in Costa Rica for the fraudster, whose name Costa Rican authorities have not yet made public.

Besides the law firm in San José, two other properties in Quepos were raided by police in the search for evidence.

This story is developing. Follow www.ticotimes.net for updates.

Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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