Costa Rican surrenders in case over poker money

Olman Rímola, a former mayoral candidate in Escazú and a figure in a growing poker scandal, surrendered himself Monday morning.

The 40-year-old businessman is associated with Innovative Data Solutions, a Rohrmoser call center that is involved in online poker.

The firms PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker are under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, New York, and Costa Rican officials are probing the flow of money that has come into the country for years as a result of the poker operations.

Some employees of poker companies have been detained in the United States for violating a law that prohibits such online games in that country. Others, including U.S. citizens who were in Costa Rica, are being sought.

The U.S. government alleged money laundering and conspiracy, which is why the Costa Rican investigators are involved.

The poker companies are believed to have brought millions a year into the country and made investments in real estate and other profit-making ventures.

A judge did not put Rimola in jail Monday. Instead he was told he had to sign in with prosecutors every 15 days and that he could not leave the country. Because he is Costa Rican, he cannot be extradited to the United States.

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