Vol.18  No.924 Monday Edition,  September 24, 2018 Fourth news page
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Costa Rican sentenced for theft in U.S.
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By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican businessman Mauricio Andulo Hidalgo, 43, has been sentenced to a term of 30 months in prison in a U. S. District Court for stealing money generated from visa applicants at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced in  Charleston, South Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Andulo previously pleaded guilty to theft of government funds, a violation of 18 U.S.C 641.  U. S. District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy imposed the sentence, which also includes three years of supervised release and mandatory restitution, the department added.

According to the case report, “Evidence presented at a change of plea hearing established that Andulo used his position as president of SafetyPay-Central America to steal over $293,832 of government funds that were supposed to be transferred to a bank account maintained by the Department of State's Global Financial Services Center in Charleston.” The report added, “SafetyPay-Central America had been hired as a subcontractor to handle the processing of visa application fees for the United States Embassy in Costa Rica.” 

The report stated that, as part of the scheme, Andulo diverted the funds from a SafetyPay bank account in Costa Rica to another Costa Rican account under his sole control.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      

Andulo used his position as president of SafetyPay-Central America to steal over $293,832 of government funds,
U.S. Department of Justice said.



The case was investigated by special agent Katherine Kovacek of the Department of State/Office of Inspector General, which is led by Inspector General Steve A. Linick.  Assistant U. S. Attorneys Marshall Austin and Nathan Williams both of the Charleston Office prosecuted the case.


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