Prisoners again linked to scams in the outside world

Another series of scams has been followed back to prisoners in La Reforma.

At least 30 persons have been victims of an advance fee scam set up by convicts and executed by associates in Desamparados, Pavas, León XIII and Limón, said prosecutors Monday.

The official name of the prison is the Centro Penal La Reforma in Alajuela, and there has been a long series of white collar crimes that have been traced back to there.

Prisoners seem to have no trouble making telephone calls and making contact with persons on the outside.
This scam developed when prisoners put ads in various
Spanish-language daily newspapers. They offered loans with easy repayment plans. Naturally they had a lot of inquires.

Those who were scammed followed instructions and made deposits of varying amount for so-called administrative costs. The bank accounts belonged to associates of the prisoners, said the Poder Judicial.

In some cases, the crooks accepted household appliances, flat-screen televisions or other objects in lieu of cash.

Miguel Navarro, coordinator of the Unidad Especializada en Fraudes of the Ministerio Público, said prosecutors are concerned because the number of such cases is growing.

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