Monday 20 September 2021

Ofelia Taitelbaum Presented Her “Irrevocable” Resignation As Ombudswoman

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Costa Rica’s Defensora de los Habitantes (Ombudswoman)

COSTA RICA NEWS – Ofelia Taitelbaum, Costa Rica’s Defensora de los Habitantes (Ombudswoman), this morning (Monday) tendered her “irrevocable” letter of resignation to the President of the Legislative Assembly.

This comes afer pressure from Legislators over alleged identity theft and tax evasion by Taitelbaum.

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The Tributación Directa del Ministerio de Hacienda (Directorate General of Taxation, Ministry of Finance) has opened an investigation against a company that is supposedly linked to Taitelbaum for apparent tax fraud.

Carlos Vargas, director de Tributación Directa del Ministerio de Hacienda, has not named Taitelbaum directly as the person under investigation, arguing the taxpayer information is confidential, however, the information was leaked on Thursday by local television channel, Canal 9.

The director said that a contributor in San Carlos: Maria de los Angeles Otárola, presented a complaint of charges against one of her companies that she claims has no economic activity and based on the information the tax department is investigating.

Vargas confirmed that Taitelbaum has not been notified, saying that the case is still in the preliminary investigation stage and they are cross checking to determine if there are more people involved.

“I have been paying my taxes on my house, my company and all taxes are up-to-date. I do my partial payments each quarter and if there is a problem that they notify me,” she said.

Following the television news report, the Defensora said she was confused and did not know anything about the matter. “Once they told me what it was about, I turned to my lawyer and accountant to find out,” said Taitelbaum.

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In the followring report by Canal 9, Taitelbaum tries to make a deal with the woman she says worked for her for three decades and has had no contact with her.

Ofelia Taitelbaum Yoselewich, was a legislator for the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) from 2006 to 2010, appointed as Defensora in 2009. Her appointment was reconfirmed for the 2010-2014 period. On May 2014, she was again re-appointed for another term. Her appointment has been controversial given her close political relationship to then former presidents Oscar Arias and Laura Chinchilla.

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