Published Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Former deputy sister sentenced
to prison for corruption
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
The sister of former deputy Abelino Esquivel-Quesada was sentenced to 9 years in prison by a judge of the Criminal Court of the Treasury. The woman, surnamed Esquivel-Quesada, served as the former chief of the public office for her brother.
Abelino Esquivel Quesada was deputy for the Costa Rican Renovation party from 2014 to 2018.
According to the Public Ministry, the former deputy sister was found guilty of the crimes of extortion and illicit enrichment.
The legal term, "crime of extortion" is used when a public employee or related, uses his/her position to request a 'payment or contribution' which is essentially a bribe.
The legal term "illicit enrichment" or corruption, is the increase of assets of a public official during the exercise of their functions with significant excess over their legitimate income that cannot be reasonably justified.
The prosecutor's office determined that the former deputy’s sister obtained an illegal compensation of approximately ₵10.7 million colones, approximately $17,500.
The trials against former Deputy Esquivel-Quesada, his sister and his wife were announced in August 2019. They were investigated and tried as suspects of committing crimes of extortion and illicit enrichment.
According to the accusation presented by the prosecutor's office, the former deputy and his sister were collectively paid an equivalent of four Congress employee's salaries.
The suspects possibly received 123 payments from the victims, the Public Ministry said.
Allegedly, the employees made payments with bank deposits or cash. "It is estimated the family members received an amount of ₵22,446,310 colones," or about $39,635, the prosecutor said in their statement.
The prosecutor also accused the former deputy's wife, Cortes-Oporto, for allegedly receiving salaries illegally, "since she did not provide the services for which she was hired," the prosecutor said in their statement. "With the alleged action of the woman, in association with the Esquivel Quesada brothers, the suspect would have received an amount of ₵7,846,310 colones," or about $13,855.
The Criminal Court of the Treasury and the Civil Service will announce the date of the trial for the former deputy Esquivel and his wife.
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