Thursday 19 May 2022

Aldesa bankruptcy demanded: It would have altered accounting data

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19 May 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA -The Bankruptcy Court of the First Judicial Circuit of San José received a request to declare the bankruptcy of Aldesa, for alleged breaches that would cause an insistence of the precautionary measures previously established by that authority on the financial group, which were intended to comply with the financial obligations to its creditors, which exceed US$200 million.

The company may now be headed for bankruptcy unless it can find other legal ways to pay back investors.

The documentation deals with 3 specific points:

  • An alleged alteration of the accounting information that should have ensured that Aldesa had the capacity to generate resources with which it was going to face the funds owed.
  • Exclusion – from their declaration – of 13 corporations, several of them domiciled outside of Costa Rican territory, specifically in Panama, in which it is presumed where Aldesa money would be.
  • Negotiations with previously selected creditors, who were not formally notified or informed before the Court and therefore their scope is unknown.

The section of legal entities domiciled in Panama takes relevance for creditors because now, they presume, that in these corporations would be a large majority of the funds of Aldesa, with which in principle, with which it was to face the money commitments to investors.

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“(…) This is evidence that the aforementioned Panamanian companies are part of the GIE of the promoters – Aldesa and associates -, and therefore should have been included in the SCCP, which the promoters did not do, falsifying by omission the promoters, the information presented to his authority, becoming worthy of the ‘penalty of inadmissibility and opening of the process’,” cites the official letter.

Among those Panamanian companies not included in Aldesa’s declaration of possessions, there is an investment fund called Monte del Barco Real Estate Corp., which in turn, operated with other corporations of Costa Rican businessmen, including one named Orax, belonging to for the year 2016 to the vice president of the newspaper La Nación, Fernán Vargas, and that due to that legal status he had to reach conciliation with the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica for triangulation of approximately ¢1.4 billion colones that were not paid to the treasury of our country.

The Bankruptcy Court must analyze the evidence offered by the applicant and decide whether to accept the petition to declare or reject the bankruptcy of Aldesa.

In the event that it admits the bankruptcy, Aldesa must liquidate all the assets that remain (that are not part of previous seizure processes) and with those funds, distribute to the creditors according to the investment percentages that each one had.

The Aldesa case began in the first four months of 2019 when the institution itself requested a formal intervention before the judicial authorities due to lack of liquidity.

More than 500 people deposited their savings and retirement funds in that financial structure, the amounts reached a presumed figure of US$200 million.

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Read more: President of Aldesa Insists He Will Repay Investors In Full

“Sneak” fixes. Regarding the alleged arrangements with creditors, according to the legal representatives of the creditors affected today, Aldesa and its executives apparently continued to hide financial movements even when they were subject to the judicial process and benefited investors with whom they wanted to look good due to alleged proximity.

In order to continue operating under preventive measures issued by the judicial authority, one of the requirements that Aldesa and its representatives had to meet was to present documents that prove that they have goods and services that generate financial income, which in turn, cover a significant percentage of total debt with creditors.

With these funds, the stock market group could then comply with the obligations for up to 14 years.

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For this justification, Aldesa placed before the Court real estate holdings in the tourism project Monte del Barco Real Estate Development Fund, in Papagayo, Guanacaste, lots to build luxury properties and other tourist structures.

However, at least two Costa Rican banks seized more than 75% of the total of these lands for debts that Aldesa already had with them.

That is to say, the financial group never included in its statement that there were judicial collection processes on those lands and that in the short term it would not be able to use them to generate income and pay debt.

Javier Chaves, former president of Aldesa is accused of alleged fraud and irregular administration of funds.

Read more: President of Aldesa, Javier Chaves, is released but unable to leave the country

Chaves is represented by Francisco Campos, a high-profile Costa Rican lawyer whose name has been recently in the headlines for his representation of Carlos Cerdas and Mélida Solís, from the Meco and Solís companies, in the Cochinilla corruption case and married to Emilia Navas Aparicio, who abruptly stepped down as Attorney General following the arrest of Cerdas and Solis.

Read more: Attorney General Emilia Navas Takes “Early Retirement”

I am not going to drop my (high profile) clients because Emilia occupies a position,” Campos refuted to questions of a possible conflict of interest as he was the defense attorney in a case of apparent corruption that the Public Ministry is investigating, led by his wife.

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