Email campaign seeks money from former Villalobos investors

The United Concerned Citizens & Residents has disavowed any connection with an email solicitation that is making the rounds. The email, identified as the Villalobos Report, seems to be seeking money from former investors of the failed Villalobos investment scheme.

United Concerned Citizens is a group that is now seeking some kind of reimbursement from the Costa Rican government via the courts because law enforcement closed down the Villalobos high-interest operation. This is the same organization that pressured investors to drop their case against Oswaldo Villalobos, one of the brothers, who was eventually convicted of aggravated fraud.

Those who did not drop their case received a proportional payment.

In a Web posted, the organization said that there has been no word from Luis Enrique Villalobos since 2009. However, they appear to fully expect the fugitive to return when the statute of limitation expires and to pay off the faithful.

The Villalobos operation collapsed in 2002 after an investigatory raid. That was July 4 that year. In November, Luis Enrique announced in a Fax to A.M. Costa Rica that he was closing down. The newspaper received one additional message from him, an email, but his supporters believe they have received many.

United and Concerned Citizens said that sightings of Oswaldo Villalobos on the streets of the Central Valley probably are true because the convicted man has received two days of freedom per week.

The villalobosreports email seeks a non-refundable payment to “provide the necessary working capital to pursue our interests,” although future actions are not specified. There is a defunct Web site of the same name, but there is no indiction that there is a relationship. was run by an expat supporter of the brothers who encouraged investors to drop their legal cases.

The aftermath of the Villalobos collapse saw several schemes to recover money. One promoter claimed to have trapped Luis Enrique in a box and was transporting him to the Central Valley. A more straightforward effort was an attempt to bring the Costa Rican government into international arbitration to compensate some investors for having closed down the high-interest operation. Three persons on a panel at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, a World Bank agency, decided they did not have jurisdiction.

The collapse of the Villalobos high interest operation cost investors up to $2 billion. Luis Enrique paid nearly 3 percent a month to investors who deposited at least $10,000.

The Costa Rican courts decided the business was a ponzi scheme because investigators never could determine how the firm made money.

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