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Felipe "Pipo" Virzi (Former Vice President) and His Brother José Virzi Facing Corruption and Money Laundering Charges

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More alleged crimes while under house arrest

Posted on June 22, 2016 in Panama

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Virzi hiding behind new beard
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EX-VICE- PRESIDENT Felipe Pipo Virzi was moved from preventive detention to house arrest because of his age and the court’s belief that he would not be continuing criminal activities. But he and his daughter are now under investigation for forgery and fraud in a real estate deal committed while he was allegedly under surveillance.

Newly bearded Virzi, is already facing two other criminal cases, one for alleged money laundering related to bank accounts  of jailed ex- Supreme Court  Judge Alejandro Moncada Luna and another for embezzlement related to the failed irrigation project Tonosí, whose preliminary hearing is set for July .The Virzi controlled bank that was involved in many of his activities was shut down and its operations taken over by other investors. The Tonosi case involves the alleged distribution of bribery proceeds to members of the Ricardo Martinelli inner circle, some of whom, like Martinelli, have fled the country.

In a June 8,  resolution t  The Fifteenth Criminal Circuit prosecutor ordered the investigation of  fourth circuit notary, Natividad Quiros Aguilar, and Elvira Maria Virzi, for the alleged crime of forgery linked to Pipo Virzi

Quiros Aguilar and Virzi Elvira, daughter of the former vice president, after inconsistencies were found in the procedure for registration of a farm in Santiago, Veraguas province.

According to the prosecution there is  a possible alteration of documents in which Felipe Virzi deeded land it was determined Agroganadera F. A. Virzi S.A., despite the existence of a demand for registration of the  land by Maria Torres Enelda in August 2015 in the Agrarian First Court of Veraguas.

It is established that the transfer occurred when Virzi was under  house arrest issued by the Special Prosecutor against Organized Crime

The notary Quiros declared that he went d to the house of Virzi to attest to the processing of some documents, including the deed by which the transfer was made of the farm. However, the record has  no reference to the presence of witnesses. reports La Prensa

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/alleged-crimes-house-arrest

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PRD group moves to block Virzi trial dodge

Posted on July 26, 2016 in Panama

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Virzii, righ, was a member of the Martinelli., inner circle
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A GROUP of National Revolutionary Party  (PRD) activists have made a move to stymie  an attempt  by  ex-vice president Felipe  “Pipo” Virzi, to use the party’s election program to stall his criminal trial.

On Tuesday,  July 26, the  Coordinator for the  “Rescue Torrijista” faction, focused on restoring the party’s credibility, presented a challenge to Virzi’s  candidacy for the fifth undersecretary of the PRD National Executive Committee (CEN)

Currently, Virzi is the subject of several lawsuits in the Public Ministry.

Members of the group said that this nomination hurts the image of the party  that is in the process of renewal.

“We  express our strong opposition to the PRD  being used for delaying tactics for the sole purpose of evading prosecution. To do so would be to  accept practices adopted by other political groups, which would further undermine the already tarnished image of the party”, said a statement issued by the group.

On  July 18 , the last minute move by Virzi to run for election  forced the suspension of the hearing into  the failed Tonosí irrigation contract, in which Virzi is one of 33 accused some of whom were, like Virzi,  members of the inner circle of ex-president Ricardo Marinelli, and some of whom, like Martinelli, have fled Panama.

The period of challenges to the candidacies CEN of the PRD and other collective management positions will culminate on Friday, July 29, at 4:00 p.m.

A total of 41 nominations have presented to occupy  10 places in the CEN.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/prd-group-moves-block-virzi-trial-dodge-ploy

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Prosecutor gets more time to investigate bullet dodger

Posted on August 1, 2016 in Panama

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Artful Dodger Virzi
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FORMER Vice-President Felipe ‘Pipo’ Virzi who is dodging the bullet of a court  hearing in a case with potentially heavy sentences, faced another judicial hearing on Monday August 1 when the prosecutor  was granted  two  more months to complete investigations into the alleged falsification of documents and fraud.

Judge Edith Guizado authorized the extension in a a case involving Edy Corporation, SA, with fraud allegedly committed by Virzi and Maria de Los Angeles Pitti, native of the province of Chiriqui.

The case aims to clarify how Edy Corporation, S.A. – in which Virzi is  listed as shareholder, acquired the island Sevilla in Chiriqui, valued at $25 million. The event happened while Virzi was under house arrest in another case.

Virzi, who was second vice-president in the government of Ernesto Perez Balladares (1994-1999), has other ongoing processes in the Public Ministry. He currently has an injunction barring him from leaving the country as part of the investigation into the irregularities in the award of the failed Tonosí irrigation project, awarded in the administration of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014). That case is set to resume in November.

The previous hearing was put on hold as Virzi made a literal last minute move to run for office in the PRD elections, last weekend, and gained electoral immunity.

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/prosecutor-gets-time-investigate-bullet-dodger

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Virzi and family face $25 million scam charge

Posted on September 25, 2016 in Panama

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A FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT and a group of relatives and business associates  will be called on Tuesday, September 27 to  court   in  Veraguas to set a hearing  into  a case  of alleged falsification of documents involving over  $25 million.

Alongside ex-VP Felipe “Pipo” Virzi   will be Rodrigo Spiegel and Ofelia Mercedes Mendez for the alleged offenses of falsification of documents and fraud to the detriment Edy Corporation, SA

Rodrigo Spiegel is the husband of Elvira Virzi, daughter of Felipe Virzi.

Also charged is   Maria de Los Angeles Pittí, accused of falsifying a public document of the Edy  Corporation to change the existing board and naming  his daughter Elvira Virzi, ex-treasurer of the defunct Universal Bank and  his son-in-law  Spiegel as directors, and  granting general powers with the supposed aim to get  a property valued at over  $25 million, in the province of Chiriqui.

The action was done to the detriment of the majority shareholder, who was in total ignorance of the move and at no time authorized the change to the board, and the powers granted to the Virzi’s daughter and her husband,, says research.

In August, Judge, Edith Guizado authorized a two month’s extension for the prosecutor’s office to continue with the investigations into the alleged crime.

The investigation period expires October 4, which then proceeds to the indictment and the respective trial, according to Adversarial procedures

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/virzi-family-face-25-million-scam-charge

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Virzi brothers facing money laundering probe

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Jose VIrzi

JOSE VIRZI,   former legal representative of the disappeared-universal Bank, and brother of ex-vice-president Felipe Pipo Virzi was interrogated on  Wednesday, August 16 by the Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for alleged money laundering.

Prosecutor Alexandra Vence, wants to know why Virzi and his brother, allocated part of the loan granted by the Caja de Ahorros to the consortium HPC Contratas-P & V, to the former  Financial Pacific (FP). brokerage, one of whose founders is in detention.The other is a fugitive.

FP and Pipo Virzi are also mired in a web of other corruption investigations with Virzi’s lawyers using legal dodges to delay hearings. He was released from preventive detention and was charged with another crime committed while under house arrest

“I have nothing to do with anything that is mentioned and that is what I have said,” Jose Virzi  told reporters. and said that no precautionary measures were imposed.

Alfredo Vallarino Alemán, lawyer for Pipo Virzi, said that search warrants had been issued against Nine people and that his client, who today moved from Santiago to the capital, will go to the public prosecutor’s office on Thursday.

Diverted funds
Part of the funds provided to HPC-Contratas-P & V for the alleged construction of a Conventions in Amador, were diverted to the company Summer Venture, controlled by Pipo Virzi, who in turn – sent the money to Financial Pacific, already liquidated reports La Prensa.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/virzi-brothers-facing-money-laundering-probe

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Ex- Panama VP behind bars

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Disappearing smile

LESS THAN 24 hours after his brother walked out of the office of Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, Alexandra Vence,  Felipe Pipo Virzi left manacled, on Thursday, Aug. 17,  on his way to pre-trial detention.

Former vice-president Pipo Virzi is under investigation for money laundering and his name is linked to a group of former high rollers who were part of ex-president Ricardo Martinelli’s inner circle.

Virzi arrived at the prosecutor’s office to explain why a loan from the Caja de Ahorros Savings Bank in favor of the Consortium HPC-Contratas-P & V, went to the extinct brokerage Financial Pacific (FP).

Accompanied by his lawyer  Alfredo Vallarino Alemán,  Virzi who is the subject of other corruption investigations, arrived smiling, but in silence.

The lawyer said that on the way out they would offer statements to reporters, but the opportunity never arose.

The day before, because Virzi’s brother José, Former legal representative of the defunct Universal Bank was questioned, and at least seven others are being investigated for alleged money laundering.

The investigation came after statements made by Pipo Virzi to  The First Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, about irregularities in the $9 million loan granted by the  Caja de Ahorros to the consortium HPC-Contratas-P & V for the construction of the bankrupt convention center in Amador.

Virzi stated – in an interrogation on October 28, 2016, in his Punta Pacifica apartment  – that in the year 2012 he received in his home the then president Ricardo Martinelli, and entrepreneur Cristóbal Salerno, who is linked to Martinelli in another corruption scandal.

Martinelli asked – according to Virzi- to lend $ 7 million to the founders of Financial Pacific, Ivan Clare and West Valdes. Clare is a fugitive and Valdes is currently detained in El Renacer Prison.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ex-panama-vp-behind-bars

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Ex-Vice President moved to prison

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EX -VICE PRESIDENT, Felipe Pipo Virzi,  has been movedf rom  the transitional cells of The Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) to the El Renacer Prison where former collaborator and ex-Supreme Court  judge Alejandro, Moncada Luna is serving a five-year sentence for corruption.

The Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor ordered his provisional detention on August 17 after charging him with money-laundering, when he allegedly diverted part of the loan awarded by the Caja De Ahorros (CA) savings bank to  the consortium HPC-Contratas-P & V to the former securities firm Financial Pacific (FP).

Prosecutor Leyda Sáenz also charged former employees of FP, Mariel Rodríguez (compliance officer); Ori Zebedes (shareholder, director and treasurer); and  Carlos Osorio, Baleysi Pineda and Josué Absalón Chávez.

Also Charged with money laundering are ex-FP directors Iván Clare and West Valdés, and José Virzi, brother of Pipo Virzi.

Pipo Virzi is facing corruption charges in several other cases.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ex-vice-president-moved-prison

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New detention order for Jailed ex-vice president

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Disgraced judge Moncada Luna and Virzi in same jail.

WHILE one of the lawyers of former Vice President  Felipe Pipo Virzi is busy preparing a request to allow bail to his client in a money laundering case, a provisional arrest warrant has been issued in another case.

The First Prosecutor against Organized Crime issued the warrant on Tuesday, August 29  this time in the case labeled  “New Business,”  related to the alleged purchase of Editora Panamá América  (Epasa) with public funds.

In this case, Virzi is under investigation for alleged money laundering.

On Tuesday, he was taken to the prosecutor’s  office from the El Renacer prison, where he is  being held for alleged  laundering of  money loaned by the Caja de Ahorros  savings bank  to the consortium HPC-Contratas-P & V and diverted to the former  Financial Pacific (FP brokerage

Tuesday’s questioning began at about 8:00 a.m. and finished five hour s later when his lawyer Alfredo Vallarino confirmed that a  new detention  order had been issued.

The lawyer reiterated that he will continue his quest to Virzi is out of prison, where he has been since August 23. In the same jail, former Supreme Court judge and Virzi associate, Alejandro Moncada Luna,  is serving a five-year sentence.

He repeated that his client is 74 years old, has health problems.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/new-detention-order-jailed-ex-vice-president

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OFF THE CUFF: Ex VP plays age card to flee detention

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ONE OF Panama’s first post invasion vice presidents is again using the “age” card to get bail in one of the multiple corruption investigations he is facing.

Alfredo Vallarino, lawyer for Felipe ‘Pipo’ Virzi filed the bail application after alleging that his client has not at any time disregarded the proceedings in the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

He has however in unrelated cases, using other counsel, managed to delay court proceedings with various strategies, including “running for office” in a PRD election even though he was closely allied with the fugitive ex-president. Ricardo Martinelli, founder, and leader of the Democratic Change (CD) Party.

Virzi has been detained since  August 17 , accused of money-laundering related to a loan issued by the Caja de Ahorros (CA) and then transferred to the Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage.

The Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, Leyda Sáenz,  is investigating why the loan was diverted to FP, when it was intended for the building the Amador Convention Center.

In his bail petition, the lawyer said that Virzi had voluntarily stripped himself of immunity from participation in the electoral system and he is a 74-year-old person.The age card was played when Virzi was behind bars, and he was moved to house arrest. While in his Chiriqui home he was involved in other activities which led to an additional investigation. Virzi was 71 at the time.

A 75-year-old  Panamainian woman, without the financial and legal resources of Virzi, was recently jailed for  five years.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/off-cuff-ex-vp-plays-age-card-flee-detention

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Virzi gets jail exit keys once again

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Virzi, free to roam once again

FORMER  Vice-president Felipe Pipo Virzi, entangled in multiple corruption probes has once again been released from preventive detention because of his age.

He has been behind bars in El Renacer prison since August while being investigated for alleged money laundering in the New Business Case related to the purchase of Editora Panamá América (Epasa) allegedly with public funds.

A ruling by Judge Harry Diaz has changed his detention to country arrest, meaning he can’t leave the country without judicial authorization and must also report on the 30th of each month.

“He is over 65 years old, and should not be deprived of liberty unless the Public Ministry justifies such a measure. Virzi has not missed his commitments to the processes, so there is not much to analyze ” said Diaz.

Virzi recently appeared in a photo circulated on social media taking coffee in the grounds of El Renacer with a group of high profile detainees facing corruption charges.

He had previously been let out of detention for an unrelated case, and moved to house arrest, and is now being investigated for an offence allegedly committed while at his home.

He managed to stall court appearances by putting himself forward as a candidate for office in an internal PRD election.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/virzi-gets-jail-exit-keys

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Two State bank corruption cases feature ex VP

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Virzi, Francolini,Valdes, Clare
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IRREGULARITIES at the State savings bank. Caja de Ahorros during the government of Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) led to two investigations with  common elements: the $10 million loan  granted to the HCP-Contratas-P & V consortium,  which  was building the Amador Convention Center  under a Tourism Authority  contract  granted  by  then director Salomón Salo Shamah,  and the involvement of former Panama vice-president  Felipe Pipo Virzi who. Like a scarlet pimpernel gone astray keeps popping up in corruption cases.

In the first case, The First Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the alleged commission of crimes against the administration, involving the board of directors,  the manager and assistant manager and  Riccardo Francolini, former bank  president and  the ex-directors of HPC-Contratas-P & VTobías Garrido, Jairzon

On November 30, 2016, prosecutor Tania Sterling asked for the prosecution of 28 people involved and Said that Francolini was the person who took HPC-Contratas-P & V  to the bank to request the line of

credit to the bank, and, “he served as judge and party”, and also received as a signatory of the companyCorporación Desarrollo Los Andes, S.A., $500,000  from Summer Venture Inc., the first recipient of the disbursement of the line of credit under investigation.

The hearing of the case was scheduled to take place between March 27 and March 29, 2017, but was delayed by petitions presented by the defense. It was rescheduled for April 10 and  11  and was stalled again by another series of legal actions filed by lawyers of several of the accused, including a writ of habeas corpus, and two safeguards of guarantees presented by Francolini’s defense, who was detained in El Renacer prison.  The date for the new hearing is from January  29 to February 2, 2018.

The second investigation is a consequence of the first investigation, although this file seeks to determine if there was money laundering. The seventh anti-corruption prosecutor, Leyda Sáenz, asked for the trial of 12 people because she suspects that money from the loan to HPC-Contratas P & V was used to cover a financial gap in Financial Pacific, after embezzlement in the brokerage.

In a fiscal hearing sent to the Judicial Body on September 27, the prosecutor asked to prosecute West Valdés, Iván Clare, Óscar Rodríguez, Ori Zbeda, Carlos Osorio, Jossue Chávez, Teresa Sánchez and Mariel Rodríguez, from Financial Pacific,  along with  Felipe Virzi, José Virzi López, Alberto Ortega and Bleisy Pineda, who belonged to the now defunct Banco Universal.

According to the prosecutor, the three phases for the configuration of the crime of money laundering -placement, diversification and integration- were fulfilled. She pointed to Felipe Virzi as the alleged perpetrator of the punishable act with the alleged provision of $7 million from an account of the former vice president of the Republic and another $5.2 million from a management check from Ilkeston Associated Inc.

“Virzi, maintaining full knowledge of the provenance of the $7, used the  banking system to place  the funds in his personal account, in the Universal Bank, later sending it to Financial Pacific who opened a new account, also in Banco Universal, and deposited  through West Valdés, the sum of $12.2 million ”

A preliminary hearing date for the case has not yet been established.

Virzi was recently released from preventive detention, over another case. and is now under country arrest.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/two-bank-corruption-cases-feature-ex-vp

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Following  New Business money trail nets $1.3 million

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Pipo Virzi accused in multiple corruption cases
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Following the money in the case known as New Business has so far managed to trace some $1.3 million.

The  First Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime is tracking

the trail of accounts and companies linked to the purchase of the Editora Panamá América, S.A. with public money syphoned from an overpriced highway project during the Martinelli administration.

The money, according to judicial sources that requested anonymity, was located in different banking accounts in Panama and overseas reports La Prensa.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has charged 31 people, for alleged money laundering. The prosecution is also following  26 companies that would be linked to the crime.

Of that group, 15 have been identified in Panama and the rest in different international jurisdictions.

Prosecutor  David Mendoza has asked for judicial assistance to complete his research, from the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the People’s Republic of China.

Among those investigated are , several of them involved in other corruption investigations  case are the merchants Daniel Ochy, David Ochy, Dina Ochy, Felipe Pipo Virzi, Gabriel Btesh, Mike Btesh, Danny Cohen, Moussa Daniel Levy, Gonzalo Germán Gómez, Riccardo Francolini, Leo David Cohen, Solomon Btesh, Jack Btesh, Angel Frames, Nadin Bhakta, Ori Zbeda Levy, Aaron Mizrachi and Tse Yum Ling, and the ex-directors of the defunct Financial Pacific FP brokerage  Ivan Clare and West Valdés, as well as former employees of FP, Mayte Pellegrini and Óscar Rodríguez.

In an  August 25, ruling of the eighteenth criminal judge, Baloisa Marquínez,   refused to rule the case complex. Mendoza appealed the decision and the Second Criminal Superior Court,  determined that New Business is a complex cause, since “it brings together budgets of organized crime, accordingly (…) “.

Judge Wilfredo Sáenz Fernández, granted him one year – extendable – to continue gathering evidence. According to judicial sources, 10 of the accused have fled the country and the prosecution does not know their whereabouts.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/following-new-business-money-trail-nets-1-3-million

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Moderator comment: Reference in the below news article to scandals involving Financial Pacific and the Caja de Ahorros savings association are subjects of other topics located in this same forum. If you are interested in reading more about them, then we recommend doing a search on this corruption forum using either term as a search argument.


 

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Multiple suspect  gets fresh court delay

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Felipe Pipo Virzi
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Former Panama vice-president, Felipe Pipo Virzi, facing criminal charges in multiple cases once again wriggled free of his day in court on Tuesday, December 12 when The Eighteenth Criminal Court suspended a preliminary hearing, involving 12 people.

The process cover s the loan granted by the Caja de Ahorros  State Savings Bank (CA) for the alleged construction of an Amador convention center.

It was adjourned because a writ of habeas corpus presented by Virzi is pending response. After being photographed in pyjamas in company with other Ricardo Martinelli insiders in the grounds of El Renacer prison, Virzi’s latest lawyer managed to talk a judge into releasing him from preventive detention. It was the second time he got the key to the door. Previously when moved to house arrest he was charged with another offense involving a real estate transaction.

Tuesday’s hearing was rescheduled for  January 16.

In this case, the Public Ministry is investigating alleged money laundering in the granting of the $9 million loan to the HPC-Contratas P & V consortium.

The loan was to be used in the construction of the Convention Center, tendered by the last government, but the monies were diverted to accounts in the Financial Pacific (FP)  brokerage, now liquidated.

Virzi and 11 other people are charged including the general and assistant managers, the board of directors of the CA chaired by Riccardo Francolini in the five-year period 2009-2014-; the founders of FP -West Valdés and Iván Clare-, and the merchant Ricardo Ricki Calvo, among others.

In November, the lawyers of Virzi, Valentín Mora and Alfredo Vallarino, filed habeas corpus in favor of their clients- detained in El Renacer.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/multiple-suspect-gets-fresh-court-delay

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Panama’s artful dodger heads home again

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Virzi, charges like campaign medals
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FORMER  vice-president  Felipe Pipo Virzi’s, long drawn out battle to avoid justice took another ponderous step sideways on Friday afternoon, December  15, as he once again walked out of the El Renacer prison and headed for the comforts of home, leaving behind a host of fellow members of the Martinelli inner circle, facing corruption charges totaling scores of millions of dollars.

Virzi had been in preventive detention, while under investigation by the Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, for alleged money laundering through alleged irregularities in the loan that the consortium HPCContratas-P & V received from the State Savings Bank, Caja de Ahorros for supposedly building a convention center … another venture involving key members of the inner circle.

The money was diverted in  2012 to the now liquidated securities brokerage Financial Pacific.

The defense of Virzi, engaged in what appears to be a war of legal attrition had requested bail from the Eighteenth Criminal Court. Alfredo Vallarino, Virzi’s lawyer, had also filed a writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court.

In November,  the Supreme Court granted him a habeas corpus with the impediment of not leaving the country without judicial authorization.

But Virzi, like Dickens’ Artful Dodger, is enmeshed in multiple criminal cases which he seems to flaunt like campaign medals.

He is in the sights of the First Prosecutor’s against Organized Crime in the so-called New Business case, related to the purchase of Editora Panamá América (Epasa) with alleged public funds, and there are others dating back to his involvement with now jailed ex-supreme court judge Moncada Luna.

“He is over 65 years of age, and should not be deprived of liberty unless the Public Ministry justifies such measure. Virzi has not failed to comply with his commitments to the processes, so there is not much to analyze, ” said the judge who granted him house arrest.

The last time Virzi got to go home he ended up facing new charges over events that took place while under house arrest. More campaign ribbons.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/panamas-artful-dodger-heads-home

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Virzi bros postpone another court hearing

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Jose VIrzi
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A MONEY-LAUNDERING hearing involving former Vice President Felipe Pipo Virzi, and 11 others was suspended for the second time by the  Eighteenth Criminal Court on Monday, January 16.

Virzi, involved in several corruption cases has a track   record of staving off hearings and convincing judges to release him from preventive detention,

The preliminary hearing was for alleged money laundering through funds from a loan granted by the  State savings bank, Caja de Ahorros (CA) to the HPC-Contratas P & V consortium.

The loan was granted for the alleged construction of a convention center in Amador, but the

money finally went to the accounts of the extinct Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage The hearing was suspended because the defense of Jose Isaac Virzi, brother of the ex-vice president filed a writ of habeas corpus last week before the Supreme Court and it has not yet been decided.

The hearing was originally set for December 12, but the eighteenth criminal judge, Baloisa Marquínez, ordered the suspension for a habeas corpus presented by Pipo Virzi.

In addition to the Virzi brothers,  nine others are facing trial including former FP directors -West Valdés and Iván Clare who are facing trial over the High Spirit Account at the brokerage.

This process began after the Public Prosecutor opened proceedings against former members of the Board of the Savings Bank – chaired then by Riccardo Francolini- for presumed embezzlement, in the loan approved to HPC-Contratas P & V. Pipo Virzi, his partner Ricardo Calvo and Jason Pastor are also investigated in the latter case along with Rodrigo Arosemena Pino, former manager and deputy manager, .of the CA

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/virzi-bros-postpone-another-court-hearing

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Martinelli links in laundering probe

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"Artful Dodger " Virzi (R)
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Former Panama  Vice-President, Felipe Pipo Virzi, who is facing multiple criminal investigations, on Monday, Apr.30  took what for him has become a familiar path leading to an anti-corruption prosecutor’s office.

Earlier visits had led to preventive detention which an amenable judge converted to house arrest, leading to more charges over real estate dealings perpetrated while under “arrest”.

Virzi, who could challenge the  avoidance  skills of Dickens’ Artful Dodger’ has managed to delay or avoid appearing in court on numerous occasions, once by registering in the closing minutes   as a candidate in a PRD internal election, although his recent track record has been hob-nobbing with the CD and the coterie of camp followers in the Ricardo Martinelli Zero Circle.

Health has been another excuse, although he has managed to drive himself to meetings and legal appointments.

On Monday  he arrived at the Avesa building,on Via Espana , to make a declaration to the 7th anti-corruption prosecutor as  part of a Public Ministry  the Ministry  money laundering investigation capital, linked to the alleged use of privileged information in the Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage during the Martinelli government, and involving Petaquilla share  manipulation on Toronto’s Stock Exchange   Virzi arrived at 8:35 a.m. with  his lawyer Alfredo Vallarino.

“The elements for money laundering are not given,” Vallarino told waiting media, adding that he does not know what will happen to his client at the end of this procedure; but he expects his procedural rights will be respected  … More friendly judges, more adjournments, more medical exams?

The investigation originated in a complaint filed in 2015 by the Stock Market Superintendency  (SMV), in which it accuses the companies High Spirit Overseas and Jal Offshore, both with investment accounts in FP, of receiving funds of unknown origin, to buy shares of Petaquilla Minerals.

The complaint of the SMV is based on information provided by the liquidator of FP, José Ángel Hidrogo, about a group of client accounts that presented “irregular management” and that could have benefited from privileged information to acquire the shares.

According to the SMV complaint, the beneficiary of Jal Offshore (( registered in Belize) is the lawyer Ramses Owens. While High Spirit is linked to former President Ricardo Martinelli whose web attracted many all party flies

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-links-in-laundering-probe

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Martinelli insiders  linked to money laundering, corruption

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Virzi and Salerno
Post Views: 111
 
Two prominent members on the Ricardo Martinelli inner circle, facing a string of alleged corruption investigations faced off in front of the 7th Anti Corruption prosecutor on Thursday, June 7.

Businessmen Felipe Virzi and Cristóbal Salerno are charged in the case of the Jal Offshore company, which had an investment account in the defunct Financial Pacific brokerage.

The charges relate to alleged money laundering,  corruption, and embezzlement.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/martinelli-insiders-linked-to-money-laundering-corruption

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Panamanian prosecutor requests trial for 16 accused of embezzlement at state bank

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 14:23

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The Panamanian prosecutor's office requested today the trial of 16 accused, including former Vice President Felipe Virzi (1994-1999) and former directors of the state bank Caja de Ahorros (CA), for the granting of an irregular loan to build a convention center.

The anti-corruption public prosecutors (MP) Tania Sterling and Adecio Mójica made the request for a trial appeal, in a preliminary hearing of the 14th Criminal Court of Panama, within the process of 22 people for the crime of embezzlement.

Prosecutor Sterling alleged that they have all the elements tying them to the crime, such as the "expeditious" approval of two credit lines for 30 million dollars, as well as the guarantee for the approval of the credit by the Board of Directors of the CA .

Sterling indicated that no-objection certificates were granted without an award and an order to proceed by the company that was to build the Amador Convention Center, and "that the loan money was used for private purposes, and not for the civil work".

The prosecutor also noted that the company that was awarded the construction, three years later canceled the amount borrowed, as agreed, which, she argued, "does not exclude them from the committed crime, because they harmed money of the AC", according to a statement from the Judicial Branch (OJ).

In addition to Virzi, the prosecution requested the prosecution of Riccardo Francolinni, Ricardo Arango, Anastacio Ruiz, Fernando Correa, Jayson Pastor, Rodrigo Arosemena, former directors of the CA; Ricardo Alberto Chanis Correa, Jairzon Hurtado, Manuel Morales, Tobías Garrido, Alberto Calvo, Claudio Poma Murialdo, Mauricio Ortíz, West Valdes and Iván Clare, these last two former directors of the defunct stock house Financial Pacífic (FP).

The MP requested a provisional dismissal in favor of Elyonor Vanessa Samudio, Voldy Wedemeyer Ortega, Eric Quintero, Luis Díaz, Luisa Sánchez and Rolando López.

This investigation was initiated ex officio on October 23, 2015, based on a journalistic publication that revealed the award in 2012 of a 30 million loan to the HPC Contratas consortium, approved by the CA in an irregular and expedited manner.

Because of this, the prosecutor's office investigates the concession in 2012 of a millionaire loan approved by the then direction of the CA to build a convention center in the capital, on the well-known Calzada de Amador.

The company benefiting from the loan was HPC-Contratas-P&V, linked to the businessman and former vice-president Virzi and to people close to former president Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014).

According to the investigations, the businessmen of the consortium asked that the credit be given to different companies that were not related to the civil work.

Part of the loan, according to local press, was used to help plug a $12 million financial hole in the defunct FP securities house.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panamanian-prosecutor-requests-trial-16-accused-embezzlement-state-bank-7393

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Ex VP offers $50 bills in prosecutor's office

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Pipo Virzi

Posted 14/02/2019
 
Former Panama vice-president of, Felipe 'Pipo' Virzi, already entangled in multiple criminal investigations is facing another probe after dropping leaving investigation left two 50-dollar bills on the desk of two officials in a public prosecutor’s office.

According to the Public Ministry,(MP) , Virzi was notified of a precautionary measure imposed on him in a pending criminal at the offices of the Decision and Early Litigation Section of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor. As he was leaving, he left the money on the desks of the women. They rejected it and Virzi ' told them,: "You are already screwed".

"The officials reported the incident to the prosecutor Jacinto Pérez, who found Virzi’s immediately lawyer and returned the two bills and recommended telling his client that this was not a way to behave in an office of the Public Prosecutor," said an MP release.

Virzi was The politician was called to question the alleged case of money laundering of funds coming from an account at the Financial Pacific brokerage, last year.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-vp-offers-50-bills-in-prosecutor039s-office-1

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Case against  bullet-dodging ex-vice-president reactivated

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Artful Dodger Virzi

Posted 30/11/2019

The Second Court of Justice has ordered the reactivation of a case against judicial bullet-dodging former Vice President Felipe Pipo Virzi for alleged embezzlement and illegal appropriation of land.

It also to referred  to the Sixth Criminal Court complaints filed before the Second, Fifth and Fifteenth Prosecutors of the Panama Circuit, and before the Prosecutor's Office of Veraguas, by the owners of the land María Enelda Torres and Juan Carlos Álvarez, through the lawyer Ángel Álvarez, which were accumulated In  a single process.

The complaints are related to the alleged appropriation of land in Veraguas.

Virzi and the fourth Circuit notary, Natividad Aguilar, were denounced for this fact before the Fifteenth Circuit Prosecutor's Office, which already ordered the investigation of both.

The former vice president who has spent years dodging judicial bullets and perpetrated one of his alleged crimes while under house arrest after being let out of El Renacer prison has other legal processes pending.

He i is named in the dossier of the failed irrigation project in Tonosí, accused of in another case of money laundering, related to accounts linked to former judge  Alejandro Moncada Luna.

Both files are in cassation before the Criminal Chamber of the Court.

Other cases are waiting in the wings.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/case-against-bullet-dodging-ex-vice-president-reactivated

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