Villalobos Investors Suing Costa Rica Government Over Ponzi Scam

The Ponzi Scheme is said

The Villalobos brother’s Ponzi scheme is said to be one of the top 10 scams of all time.

Since about 1984 I have pretty much followed the infamous Villalobos brother’s Ponzi scheme of high investment returns who  defrauded clients–mostly American and Canadian retirees–out of $400 million in a 20-odd-year unregulated loan scheme that started in the late 1980s. They promised interest rates of 3% per month on a minimum investment of $10,000.

Villalobos moved money through shell companies before paying investors. Its staying power had to do with the fact that margins were low, the brothers were disciplined, and the outfit just barely skirted past laws. Prosecutors have estimated the loss at $600 million. It has been said it was one of the top 10 Ponzi scams of all time.

A while back I wrote how the government was getting sued by Villalobo Investors for about $200 million by an informal group, which is going under United Concerned Citizens, Residents & Friends of Costa Rica. The group claims the government knew of the Ponzi scheme for years and failed to act according.

This is not the first time that the United and Concerned Citizens has sought to hire a lawyer. Two weeks after Luis Enrique Villalobos fled in 2002 hundreds of investors met at the downtown Holiday Inn. Some agreed to pay what amounted to $150,000 for a lawyer who later ran for president. Little came from that effort. Now it seems that supporters are again springing to life and are asking others to join in the cost of the suit.

This informal group at first had about 200 people, but that is dwindling and some even still think that suddenly Luis Enrique Villalobos will show up in 2012 when the statute of limitations on the crimes expire and distribute investments for those who kept the faith. All I can say on that statement, I’ve got a great bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

But the group wants to move forward with the lawsuit and has again hire a Costa Rica attorney to sue the Costa Rican government. The lawyer thinks the former investors have a high likelihood of success in the suit. The current effort is a little more conservative. This time the organization is asking from $25 to $100 from those who would like to join the legal case. The amount depends on how much they lost.

According to a spokesperson, filing a lawsuit could eventually facilitate a political negotiation with the new government, as it may have an interest in negotiation to prevent a potential sentence against the state,”

However there are three major problems

  1. Luis Enrique Villalobos is still an international fugitive if he still is alive.
  2. His brother has been sentenced to 18 years for fraud and accepting money illegally for his role in the scheme.
  3. The government is not going to hand over millions without a huge fight.

In other words, it’s pretty hard to get blood out of three turnips.

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  1. M. Howard says:

    Has anyone heard from the Enrique Villalobos? Did he send anyone their money back?

  2. val liss says:

    i joined the villalobos with 10,000. withdrew 500 dollars. Shortly after the scam popped up and the brosthers were gone and one was sent to jail. This all happened nearly 10 yrs ago. If villalobos does return after the 10 yr. statute ends , I believe all hell will break loose. I paid an attorney 150 to represent me, and never heard from her. I tried but to no avail. If anyone has new news of his whereabouts please e-mail me at valjliss(at)        

  3. Ken Brown says:

    I knew Enrique well, and I can tell you that I believe that he will return to Costa Rica, just as he has stated, and will pay. He spent time with me and shared his beliefs in God. I think that the Costa Rica government and the prosecutors in the case took money that belonged to the investors, and, if the truth were known, may have taken money from the Enrique’s family.
    Unfortunately, for those of us who had money with Enrique will never get justice in this banana republic. If the Government cared anything at all for investors, they would have simply required that Enrique return all principal to investors and in return let him (and his brother) go free, but “NO,” the government wanted the money and took as much as they could get. I think the judges and prosecutor should be investigated – which will never happen.

  4. Tom Herron says:

    Anyone with information as to the location and/or address of Luis Enrique Villalobos please contact me through my website. Thank you. Tom Herron

  5. Luis Enrique Villalobos says:

    You all be patient, my dear investors. In July 2012 I will be free to go back to Costa Rica and pay you all the principles although I wouldn’t be able to pay the interests. I will tell all the truth regarding the people behind this complot against me and my brother.
    Be patient, the time is quite ripe for you.

    • admin says:

      DISCLAIMER from Tico Times Directory – Please do not get your hopes up if you lost money investing with the Villalobos Brothers. The comment we received from Luis Enrique Villalobos we cannot confirm if this is him or just someone playing a hoax. We can tell you this, the email came from Thailand and we tried to responds to the email and the email was returned to us non deliverable. If this is the truly Luis, please email us.

    • I hope  and Pray one day You will come back to Costa Rica and pay us .I can't  believe how you eats  or sleep after  what he didid  to people  who trusted  you .I want to tell To you Luis  Enrique villalobos God loves  you very much but you has to do the right thing ,because  what goes around comes around. 

      God loves you.

  6. Robert Easterling says:

    If anyone has any updates regarding the Viallobos situation, please let me know.

    Robert Easterling

  7. Ines H Bracey says:

    THANKS .
    ineshs (at)

  8. chris says:

    My father had $50k (life savings) with these guys. I went to visit him in 98 and he took me to the San Pedro mall to see this operation and get my name put on the paperwork as beneficiary. It all appeared on the up and up. But in the back of my mind I thought this is way too good to be true. Many of his friends had money with these guys and it had been there for many years. Now keep in mind, investors were getting a %36/yr tax free return. So people got all of their money back in under 3 years. Sure this was a scam, but people calling “the brothers” greedy should look in the mirror themselves. People that put their life savings with these guys were total idiots(including my dad)and they should consider themselves very lucky for how long it lasted. My pops lived very well in C.R. for 8 years on $50k (try that in the US!). He passed away 3 weeks before this operation got shut down, and I got hosed on the $50k when I went o get it =) Oh well

  9. Good Day,

    Does anybody have any new/recent info regarding the Villalobos Bros? I’m still wondering if there is a glimmer of hope in getting at least some of my parents investment back, they have now been deceased for 4 years, but I still try and have a little hope. Any thought, commentary or suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated.


  10. salena nash conrado says:

    Hi,My name is salena nash conrado and my father was anthony nash and was a invester in this scam and lost a lot of money and has tried to get it all back but he has passed on july 19 2009 when he finally came home?Since his passing i have tried to find out what is going on with this case but dont know where to start?This money he invested was all he had and was stollen buy some greedy bastards and these guys did this to so many people and so many people have sufford because of it for five years my dad stressed about this situation witch finally killed him from the stress he was under he had a massive heart attack?My father was away from me and my kids for five years because he could not come back to the states because he was waiting for this case to be over hoping his funds would get released to him so when he came home he would have money to survive with he lived in thiland for almost six years and i begged him to come home all the time but his pride kept him away because he didnt want to burden me even though he wouldnt of he had alot of pride and i wished he would of listened to me!so after all the years i begged him to come home he finally did on july 17 2009 he came back to seattle wash,And on july 19 2009 i went to wake him up and found him dead in his bed i guess the angels finally brought him home to die and not worry anymore and just rest now but it killed me i miss my dad so much and people like the villalobos brothers should pay for there crime and rot in hell for life and eternity?If anyone out there invovled in this is out there could please email me to give me up dates and let me know what is going on with this case i would really appreciate it?salena.conrado(at) that is my email address.Thank you

  11. marty says:

    Does anyone has any comments on a recent letter by lawyers Eduardo Blanco and Ewald acuna that the recovered funds and will be paying out 38.47% they are asking for a letter auth a payment less fess not clear or looks very professional? pls any comments advise

  12. Carlos says:

    Who wrote this?
    A journal text without a author is nothing for me. This is one of the basic requirements for cientific investigation.

    Plus, add that there are chances of getting the money back .At this point its a matter of being negative or positive towards this issue, because negotiations are still open.

    • admin says:

      First of all it is not a journal text, but a blog, that is based on personal experience, opinions, sources, and facts.

  13. Thomas says:

    Is there ANY possibility investors will see at least of their investment ?. My family had $85,000 with the Brothers, they have since passed. I have the uncashed checks and contracts, any thoughts or suggestions what I should do ?, if there’s anything that can be done. Any thoughts or ideas would be welcome.


    • admin says:

      Getting info on this has been very hard … I seriously doubt you will get your money … sorry

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