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

American owners of 16 properties accuse Italian man of property fraud

June 23rd, 2014 ( The owners of 16 cattle farms totaling 223 hectares in Cabanga de Guatuso, Alajuela, have filed fraud charges against Michel Popeo, an Italian citizen, claiming the man fraudulently took control of the properties and later took a loan against them for ¢60 million.


The properties belong to Laughing Rio Cote, Ltd., a company formed to hold the properties on behalf of four American owners.


Floyd Larry Johnson, a U.S. citizen and one of the principals of the company, filed the complaint against the Italian in San José last week.


Apparently, suspicions were raised after a worker at one of the farms reported to the owners that he had seen that the property was for sale.


An attorney representing Laughing Rio said that after some investigation, they realized that the farm had been mortgaged without their knowledge.


Last week, some workers at the farm reported that gunmen had arrived to attempt to take control of the property, but workers were able to resist the men.


According to records in the National Registry, the Italian and an associate were able to revoke two representatives of the company in the National Registry, and appointed themselves as replacements.


With his new appointment, Popeo allegedly took a loan against the property for ¢60 million on February 26th, 2014, which he had promised to repay in full one month later, which he failed to do.


This is not the only accusation of fraud lodged against Popeo.  Last Wednesday, the daily La Nacion reported that the owners of four cattle ranches in Monterey de Sabalito in San Carlos also filed a complaint against Popeo, after he allegedly invaded their land after fraudulently taking possession of the property in the National Registry.


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  • Derryl Hermanutz

    Nothing a good quick lynching wouldn’t cure. Except “civilization” protects predators, and victims have to pay fortunes to try to get the civilized state to enforce justice against thieving predators. Crime pays and white collar criminals are protected by the state. Catch an impoverished teenager stealing a $100 phone and he’s immediately put in prison. Catch a wealthy fraudster stealing $1million of real estate and he will probably get to keep his stolen loot, and he will almost certainly never see the wrong side of a row of iron bars. Instead he will become a “leading citizen”, respected by one and all for his ability to accumulate personal wealth and become rich. Behind every great fortune, there is a crime. And the criminals become the leading citizens who rule the world. No wonder the official version of “justice” is so kind to fraudsters and rich white collar thieves, and so harsh on poor people.

    • El Torito

      Well stated!

  • duke ster

    UNBELIEVABLE!!! WHAT A NIGHTMARE! I have heard of these kind of scams before. I knew an American who bought a property and was out fixing the fence when the real owner came by and asked what he was doing. Apparently a scumbag went into the Registro and changed the name on the property to himself-with the help of an insider at the Registro. It cost the poor honest American a lot of money but I think he finally straightened it out and as I remember a person inside the Registro told him that he would be able to sue the Registro as well as get his money back. So I guess there was real justice in the end, but what a nightmare. God Bless America-I will say it again, God Bless America where we can buy and sell without this kind of low life 3rd world crap going on. For my money– stay in the good old USA. And this is coming from a person who has lived in Costa Rica for almost 10 years. Thank God–Good to be back in USA and rid of the constant nightmare of living in a land where lying, stealing and cheating is THE way of life. Good God, you can’t have any peace living in Costa Rica..constantly being on guard about everything and the SECOND you drop your guard–”THEY” get you! You know what “Pura Vida” really means don’t you? It means ” we will get you sooner or later Gringo”

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