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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

Liberty Reserve founder paid to obtain Costa Rica residency through bogus marriage

Artur Budovsky

Liberty Reserve founder, Artur Budovsky, is led away in handcuffs by Spanish authorities.

May 29th, 2013 ( Liberty Reserve founder, Arthur Budovsky allegedly paid $600 to a woman to marry him in order to obtain residency in Costa Rica.  After obtaining residency, Budovsky reportedly became a naturalized Costa Rican citizen.


The story was broke yesterday by the local online newspaper,, which spoke to the woman who married Budovsky.


“I did it out of necessity, I was offered [$600] by a middleman, and at the time I was in great need.  It was all done through [Budovsky’s] lawyer, I never saw the man I married,” the woman told CRHoy.


“We were married right there in immigration, in La Uruca.  I arrived with my identification and the lawyer did everything.  Now, after everything that has happened, I’m very scared, I do not want trouble with the law,” the woman continued.


Arthur Budovsky was arrested at a Spanish airport on Friday as he was attempting to return to Costa Rica.  Budovsky is the founder of the digital currency service, Liberty Reserve, which authorities are calling the largest money laundering operation of all time.


Liberty Reserve S.A. incorporated itself in Costa Rica in 2006.  Since that time, the company processed more than 55 million transactions and transferred more than $6 billion in illegal funds, according to U.S. authorities.


The video below shows Arthur Budovsky being led away in handcuffs by Spanish authorities:



Related Stories: 


U.S. accuses Costa Rica – based Liberty Reserve of operating one of largest money laundering operations in history


Costa Rica – based digital currency, “Liberty Reserve” shut down by authorities



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  • disgusted

    This is old story..Arranged marriage for money to gain citizenship here in CR and other counties. The women says she is worried ? Go figure she broke the law, however, she will be seen as the victim. Will Arthur Budovsky loose his citizenship here in CR??? Hummm I wonder.

    • georgechapogas

      being poor is considered a legitimate legal defense for criminal activity in costa rica … for ticos.

  • Patrick Smyth

    Once again, Costa Rica is in the news for something internet based. I don’t know the full story, but it is like BoS in 2006 all over again.

  • Costa Rica Fraud Investigator

    In regards to the comments I am seeing here – let’s keep our eye on the ball. “Liberty Reserve” manipulated people, institutions, and governments to operate a money laundering operation across the globe for years. There are thousands of “victims” that were not involved in criminal activities – they were just conducting business. We have been contacted by thousands of individuals that lost significant amounts of money in the Liberty Reserve shutdown. We have seen people, like the woman that agreed to marry Budovsky for citizenship, also affected by events. There will be more information forthcoming and many will be shocked at how deep this “rabbit hole” goes. Perhaps we can keep focus on the ones that created the damage and demonstrate a little empathy towards those that were victimized.

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