Jacques Cloutier, the former Florida home builder who was found shot to death in the front seat of a car in Jacó early Saturday defaulted on more than $100 million in loans when the economy went sour.
At the time of his death he was involved in a Sala I court action here seeking to collect $18 million as a result of a court judgement in Florida.
Cloutier, 59, was identified here as a cattlemen, but in Florida he was known as the builder of quality homes.
Found with him was Luis Antonio Angulo Díaz, 70, a long-time employee from La Cruz in Guanacaste.
Both men appear to have been shot by someone sitting in the back seat. Angulo was shot in the back of the neck, and Cloutier sustained a bullet to the temple. Residents of the area in the outskirts of Jacó where the vehicle was found, Quebrada Amarilla, said that Cloutier was unknown in the area.
Cloutier was believed to be a French Canadian who came to Florida years ago. Associates said he still spoke English with an accent, according to a detailed report in the Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune. That newspaper has reported extensively on Cloutier money troubles.
The newspaper said associates reported that Cloutier guarded his private life.
Cloutier had been coming to Costa Rica for years and was believed to have had a cattle operation in the Cantón de Osa. The reason for his trip last week was supposedly to buy cattle and brand some animals. That is why he enlisted the aid of his retired employee.
Initially the case was believed to be a robbery-murder, but the evidence suggests someone ordered the men to drive to the rural area for their execution. Angulo was at the wheel.