A real estate developer, identified by his last name Villagra, accused of defrauding at least 150 buyers of the Casas Vita housing project was detained at the Juan Santamaría International (San Jose) Airport this Friday morning when he was about to leave the country.

Deputy Prosecutor’s Office of Frauds confirmed that they notified immigration authorities that Villagra could possibly skip the country to avoid prosecution.

According to the Fiscalia (Prosecutor’s Office), the complaints against Villagra had grown from 47 in May, to 125 a month later and now more than 150.

After several raids in May and arrest, a judge released Villagra, without precautionary measures.

Attorney General Emilia Navas said Villagra was re-arrested this Friday morning because “there is a risk that his departure from the country had no return. It is not only a problem of economic content – because whole families have lost life savings – but it has to do with their life projects and the right to have a decent home.”

Villagra was sued by buyers for simulating the sale of land and properties that carried mortgages or belonged to other people. The victims affirm that they gave Villagra high sums of money for deposits for the purchase of the houses that were never delivered.


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.