Fraud prosecutors issue warning about notary in San José

Fraud prosecutors issued a warning Wednesday about a notary who is under investigation. The Ministerio Público said that prosecutors have asked a criminal court to order the notary to refrain from functioning as such.

The prosecutors identified the man by the last name of Brenes Barrantes, and said that they have opened a file for falsification of documents, the use of false documents and fraud. They said his carné number with that Colegio de Abogados was 18065. The colegio Web site identified the lawyer with that number as Alvaro Gerardo Brenes Barrantes, who has an office on Avenida 8 not far from the court complex.

A warning such as this is unusual. Prosecutors warned other notaries that they should look out for documents that have been produced by Brenes. They said they also asked the Registro Nacional to freeze any transactions initiated by the man. They said this was to protect the public.

Prosecutors said that in a search of the man’s home they confiscated his notary protocol book in which his activities are listed. Prosecutors said that 90 percent of the transactions did not bear the signatures of the individuals involved. The signatures should be there.

The announcement from the Ministerio Público did not give specifics on any suspicious transactions, but notaries in general have the power to prepare documents and give faith to the Registro Nacional that can transfer the ownership of real estate, vehicles and other valuable items. Typically such crooked transactions involve third parties that profess innocence if law enforcement questions them.

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