Ex-president of Banco ELKA awaits another verdict

The former chief of the defunct Banco ELKA is back in criminal court today awaiting the verdict in a case that may cost him seven more years in prison. The man, Carlos Alvarado Moya, already received 23 years on allegations of aggravated fraud, fraudulent administration, of use of privileged information and of supplying false information to government regulators. That was a verdict April 30, 2008.

Today judges are supposed to render their decision in a separate but related case involving $2.8 million deposit by the U.S. bank customer. The allegation again is fraudulent administration.

The Banco ELKA case is well known among expats here because bank officials aggressively sought deposits from foreigners. Among its clients the bank had many foreigners, U.S. and Canadian, who deposited money to comply with various immigration financial requirements for residency here. Regulators closed the bank June 29, 2004, because the institution lacked solvency, they said.
The Poder Judicial identified the man who lost the money by the last name of Carabetta, who had a time certificate.

The customers and the former bank president reached an accord in 2006 to avoid trial, but Alvarado did not fulfill all the aspects of the agreement, so the case went to court in 2008, said the Poder Judicial.

Prosecutors Thursday asked the trial panel to sentence Alvarado to seven more years. The theory of the prosecutor is that Alvarado used his client’s money in what was called an irregular fashion just a month before the bank closed down, said the Poder Judicial.

Prosecutors are from the Fiscalía de Delitos Económicos, Tributarios y Legitimación de Capitales. The case is in the Tribunal Penal del II Circuito Judicial de San José in Goicoechea.

The main bank office was in Sabana Este between Calle 38 and Calle 40 on Avenida 4. Officials said that the bank failed to maintain the required 10 percent reserve.

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