Four Caja employees face investigation

Four persons who are employees of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social face allegations that they used computer knowledge to defraud the institution by some 93 million colons, about $175,000.

They were detained Wednesday while the investigation continues.

The case revolved around a woman employee at the Alajuela offices who was on disability leave. Investigators allege that by manipulating the computer to pay her much more, the four were able to share in the bounty.

The woman was supposed to receive individual payments of 30,000 colons, about $55. Instead, she was paid repeatedly 9 million colons, some $16,500, through electronic transfer.

The Caja said that the overpayments were caught by its auditing process, but they continued for two years.

Meanwhile at the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, the auditor has been suspended with pay for six months while an investigation takes place.

The employee, identified as Irma Gómez Vargas, faces complaints that she acted in an arbitrary matter and engaged in labor harassment. These do not appear to be criminal allegations.

Her suspension was sought by the watchdog agency, the Contraloría General de la República.

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