Belén fugitive tries to duck ABC television news crew

A 20/20 news crew was in Asunción de Belén Friday and took videotape of Andreas Roman Leimer Seiring, who is identified by the U.S. Department of Justice as a fugitive.

Leimer is one of the last unconvicted associates in what the U.S. government says is a lottery scam that defrauded hundreds of U.S. citizens. The scam is one of a handful that have been operated out of Costa Rica over the past five years. There have been a number of arrests here and extraditions to the United States. Leimer is believed to be a Costa Rican citizen and immune to extradition.

By coincidence one of those who has been convicted in the case will be resentenced today in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is Giuseppe Pileggi. He was convicted after a jury trial in January 2008 on one count of conspiracy and 22 counts of wire fraud, the Department of Justice said. The jury also returned a special forfeiture verdict of $8.3 million. Pileggi was sentenced on Sept. 24, 2008, to 50 years in prison incarceration, three years’ supervised release, and ordered to pay $8.3 million in forfeiture and $3.9 million in restitution.
However, the U.S. Court of Appeals ordered that he be resentenced.

A resident of Residencial La Jolla, Asunción de Belén, said that the camera crew was accompanied by Brian Ross, of the ABC show “Brian Ross Investigates.”

The resident said that the television crew was able to get tape of Leimer about 8:30 a.m., but that the man was involved in a car wreck trying to evade the cameras. A number of police showed up, and there were employees from the U.S. Embassy present.

Leimer is well known in the area for having a tall antenna on his roof. A total of 11 other persons have been tried and convicted in this lottery fraud.

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