Italian businessman and alleged fraudster, Matteo Quintavalle, is once again the subject of an investigation by the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), accused the foreigner as the mastermind behind a property registration fraud of up US$2 million dollars.
Francisco Segura, director of the OIJ, confirmed the morning raids on the home of Quintavalle, in San Rafael de Escazú, and another eight residences of conspirators in the case. The other raids by OIJ agents took place in Desamparados, Tibás, Escazú, Zapote, Cartago and Tibás.
Segura said three people were already in custody and that if Quintavalle will be arrested or not will depend on what the find inside the home.
Authorities say the group engaged lawyers to strip owners of their property by altering property registry records, the effect transferring title to a third party, mortgaging it and/or them selling = it to unsuspecting bonafide buyers.
Apparentely nine victims filed complaints with authorities, uncovering the scam that placed Quintavalle at the head of the investigation.
Quintavalle arrived in Costa Rica in 1998, gaining notoriety in 2006 when he hired several key players to purchase a local soccer team. In June 2007, he was used by U.S. investors who did not receive their earnings. The Italian was imprisoned, but released when he posted a hefty bail. That case involves some 100 investors and still remains open.