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These cronies of former President Martinelli are accused of loaning out people's savings in the Caja de Ahorros for fraudulent purposes.

Riccardo Francolini, Rodrigo Arosemena jailed in Caja de Ahorros case

The first anti-corruption prosecutor last night ordered the provisional detention of Riccardo Francolini, former president of the board of Caja de Ahorros, in relation to an investigation made by the bank to the consortium HPC-Contratas-P&V for the construction of the Amador convention center in 2012.

Rodrigo Arosemena Pino, the former deputy manager of the bank, was also ordered detained.

Francolini and Arosemena were taken by police to the prosecutor's office Wednesday morning. After several hours of questioning, both men were ordered to be detained.

Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Tania Sterling confirmed that the investigation was prompted by an October 2015 article in La Prensa which reported irregularities in the loan.

Francolini entered the prosecutor's office at about 10 a.m., escorted by police officers who drove him from his residence in Costa del Este. 

Police also searched Francolini's residence for evidence linked to the case.


Carlos Carrillo, Francolini's lawyer, claimed that the investigation is motivated by Francolini's position as manager of Nex TV, saying the investigation is based on the reporting of a "competing media."

Francolini was also represented by Anibal Salas.



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Ex bank boss to stay behind bars

Posted on December 5, 2016 in Panama

Francolini and ex-president Ricardo Martinelli
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RICCARDO FRANCOLINI, former chair of the board of the government Savings Bank (CA) during the last government, looks set to spend Christmas behind bars.

He is currently detained as part of the investigation of the $9 million loan granted for the alleged construction of a convention center in Amador.

An appeal by his defense lawyers against the continuance of the investigation was turned down  by the 10th Criminal Court   on December  2  with a statement:”It has not been proven in court records that procedural or constitutional norms have been violated…Francolini was duly represented by the lawyer Aníbal Salas and it is not evident That due process has been violated.”

Francolini has been detained preventively since last October 12 at the headquarters of The National Police in Ancon.


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Ex state bank president denied bail


RICCARDO FRANCOLINI’S introduction to life behind bars will continue after The Second High Court of Justice denied a bailapplication.

The decision confirmed an earlier one by Judge Alina Hubiedo  in  the Thirteenth Criminal Court;

The decision, was announced by the Secretariat of Communication of the Judicial Branch, on Tuesday, April 4

Francolini, a former Ricardo Martinelli business associate and member of the ex-presiden’ts inner circle, has been detained since October 12, 2016, on the orders  of the First Anti-Corruption Prosecutor as part of the Investigation of the irregularities in the loan granted by The Caja de Ahorros (CA) to the consortium HPC Contratas P & V, for the alleged construction of the  Amador Convention Center, which was never completed.

The $9 million loan, was granted during the, Martinelli administration when Francolini served as president of the Board of Directors of the CA.

The preliminary hearing of this case was to be held on March 27, but was canceled because lawyer Luis Eduardo Camacho Gonzalez filed an objection against the presiding judge.

Camacho was the former  spokesman for the CD Party and remains spokesman for  Martinelli.

Francolini remains behind bars, serving his apprenticeship for what could be a long stay if he and his accomplices are found guilty.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Riccardo Francolini, Ex-Chairman of the Board of Caja de Ahorros Corruption
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$1 million bails ex-bank boss

Francolini and ex-president Ricardo Martinelli

 A KEY PLAYER in a network of interlocking  corruption investigations  with links to the infamous “zero circle” of the Martinelli era, has been granted a $1 million release bond.

Riccardo Francolini, former chair of the board of directors of the state-owned Caja de Ahorros (CA) is facing trial for his role in the granting of a loan by the bank to the consortium HPCContratasP & V, for the alleged construction of a convention center in Amador.

Francolini has been in preventive detention in  El Renacer since October 12 last year. The prison  has been a recent temporary home to over a score of alleged malefactors under investigation for involvement in self-enrichment activities during the previous administration, many of them braying “political persecution.”

Some of them are destined to return for longer spells and share the facilities, with former Supreme Court judge Alexandro Moncada Luna and other luminaries attempting to dodge their day in court. El

El Renacer  in Balboa, once housed deposed military dictator Manuelo Noriega. Moncada Luna is serving  a five-year sentence, but other charges mat be looing in the wings.

Once the bail is entered, Francolini will regain his freedom, at least for a while.

In May, he was granted bail of $200,000 by   Judge Vilma Urieta. The decision was appealed by the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office.

The decision of the judge was supported by the Second Superior Court of Justice but bail was increased to $1 million, a fraction of the amounts involved in the alleged malfeasance. The ruling was supported by the magistrates María de Lourdes Estrada and Adolfo Mejía.

The accused “should have proceeded with greater zeal and care in the management of public funds, given that  in the end it turned out that the money loaned was diverted to third parties, without having at that time the guarantees or  guarantee that protected said loan, together with the fact that, according to what appears from the procedural records, it was he  who referred the HPCContratasP & V client to the banking entity, ” said a press release from the Judicial Branch.

The bulletin does not specify if Francolini has any precautionary measures once the bail is entered.

The record shows that the  bank’s Board of Directors  chaired by Francolini, approved two lines  of credit one for $20 million and another for $10 million, which “did not have some requirements inherent to this type of loan, … as  highlighted in the internal audit report of the banking institution,” said the judges.

Finally, $9 million was disbursed. Of that amount, a company of Francolini would have received $500,000.

Similarly, others charged by the prosecution stated that Francolini referred the consortium, represented by the ex-vice president of the Republic, Felipe Pipo Virzi, Ricardo Ricki Calvo and Manuel Morales Diez.


Valdes and Clare. Little left to smile about

They are all being Investigated for the alleged commission of crimes against the public administration. The prosecution is also investigating  the other members of the Board of Directors of the CA and  manager Jayson Pastor and his deputy  Rodrigo Arosemena Pinogerente  along with the founders of the Financial Pacific (FP),  brokerage West Valdés and Iván Clare, among others.

Another name that keeps appearing in reports relating to the never ending story of FP, is ex-president Ricardo Martinelli .



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Nine charged in brokerage loan scam

Pipo Virzi now in detention

NINE PEOPLE  alleged to  have been involved  in the transfer of a $9 million loan to a failing  brokerage with links to then president Ricardo Martinelli  are now under investigation by  the Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor

The loan was awarded by the Caja de Ahorros (CA) to  HPC-Contratas-P & V  and ended up in the former Financial  Pacific (FP) brokerage.

The defendants are the ex-employees of FP Mariel Rodríguez (compliance officer); Ori Zebedes (shareholder, director, and treasurer); And the out workers Carlos Osorio, Baleysi Pineda and Joshua Absalón Chávez.


Valdes and Clare

Prosecutor, Leyda Sáenz, also laid charges for alleged money laundering offenses against the ex-directors of FP Iván Clare and West Valdés.

In addition, prosecutor Sáenz charged the brothers  José and Felipe Pipo Virzi.

The first people questioned were José Virzi and Carlos Osorio,  on  August.16.

Jose Virzi, the elder brother of Pipo was not given any precautionary measure, but  Osorio and Pipo Virzi and are in preventive detention.



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Odebrecht bribe suspects bail upped to $1.5 million

Riccardo Francolini and Federico Suarez

BAIL to avoid  preventive detention  for three  high profile  suspects in the Odebrecht  bribery scandal has been  increased from $50,000 to $ 1.5 million.apiece.

The new amounts were set by   the Second High Criminal Court on  entrepreneur Riccardo Francolini, the former minister of Public Works Federico Suárez and his sister, Ana Isabel Suárez Cedeño, following an appeal by the anti-corruption prosecutor against the original bonds set by the Eighteenth Criminal Court.

Francolini who is also under investigation in a number of other corruption investigations. is banned from leaving the country.  Judicial sources said that the three accused will now have to pay the new amounts, once they are notified of the court’s decision or accept detention. who  is also under investigation in a number of other corruption investigations.

The process originated from a complaint lodged by the ex-comptroller Alvin Weeden over the alleged use of the local banking system by Odebrecht for the laundering of capital.



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Martinelli banking buddy loses audit appeal 

Francolini, right
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THE INCOME  of Riccardo Francolini, between 2009 and 2015, is to be audited by the Comptroller General for possible unjustified enrichment.

Francolini, former  president of the board of directors of the Caja d Ahorros is already  like  his business associate Ricardo Martinelli facing multiple corruption investigations

The plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice has rejected an Amparo of constitutional guarantees presented by Francolini against a resolution ordering  a forensic audit of his assets for the alleged crime of unjustified enrichment The ruling deliverd by Judge Harry Diaz is dated October 9.

The appeal had been filed by lawyer Omar Cadul Rodríguez –  with the allegation that his client’s fundamental guarantees enshrined in the Constitution,  had been injured “since he himself has never held the status of civil servant” and claimed that the comptroller, Federico Humbert, “has exceeded his functions.

The ruling concluded that the appeal presented “suffers from defects that make it inadmissible … There is no evidence of any infringement or infringement of any fundamental right.”

The plenary added that Francolini was aware of the resolutions issued by Lastenia Domingo, Director of Forensic Audit of the Comptroller’s Office, who requested “to collect information from Futura Media Radio S.A., and Promotora y Desarrollo Los Andes S.A .; of the salaries, dividends, fees, expenses, expenses and other payments made to Francolini between August 6, 2009 and June 30, 2015. ”

Francolini is under investigation  for bribery by  Odebrecht and aggravated peculation in Caja de Ahorros.



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Two State bank corruption cases feature ex VP

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.



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Loan scam hearing adjourned again

Riccardo Francolini, justice delayed
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THE SEEMINGLY never-ending story of the attempt to bring the alleged perpetrators of a $30 million loan scam to justice will start a new chapter in  June,  or maybe sometime when.

A preliminary hearing in the case known as Caja de Ahorros (CA) was suspended on Monday morning, January 29, because  two  of the accused  have yet to be notified and they are “out of the country”

The anti-corruption prosecutor Adecio Mojica said that he does not know in which countries they are.

The new hearing for a string of  16 high profile accused, headed by the State bank’s  former president Riccardo Francolini, is set for  June 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15,   and as alternate dates July 23, 24, 25, 26 and  27.

The prosecutor refrained from revealing the names of those involved who are missing.

This investigation was opened following a loan that the CA granted to the HPC-Contratas-P & V Consortium, for the construction of the Amador Convention Center. that was never completed

In the investigation, the prosecutor showed it was possible to “demonstrate” the connection that arose from the transfers of the funds to a company, linked to one of the defendants, and that the transfer was in favor of the Promotora y Desarrollo Los Andes company, where Riccardo Francolini, was secretary.



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Stirrings in “Boss Martinelli” embezzlement case

"The Boss"
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THE PROSECUTOR in an embezzlement trial involving  Panama’s former president, Ricardo Martinelli has been interviewing defendants in a case that has been hanging fire for nearly two years.

Supreme Court Judge Cecilio Cedalise, is the prosecutor in the trial for alleged commission embezzlement to the detriment of the  State Savings Bank, Caja de Ahjorros (CA) and is conducting proceedings as part of the investigation reports La Prensa.

Cedalise has developed a series of interviews in the last two weeks with several defendants in the investigation by the Anticorruption Discharge Office, for a $10 million loan that the CA paid to the HPC Contracts P & V consortium, for the never completed construction of a convention center in Amador, that was diverted to matters unrelated to the project.

Carlos Carrillo, Martinelli’s lawyer, confirmed that the prosecuting Judge interviewed Voldy Wedemeyer, corporate credit manager of the CA when the loan was granted.

On February 2, the plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice admitted the case, after receiving copies of the prosecutor’s file, as Martinelli is mentioned by at least two of those investigated.

Rodrigo Arosemena Pino, ex-manager of the CA, confessed to the prosecutor’s office in 2016 that Riccardo Francolini, former president of the board of directors, urged the directors of the bank to “support the project [in Amador] because it was important to the boss. ”


Riccardo Francolini

Ricardo Arango Pezet, the member of the board of directors of the bank, said something similar. “I remember that he [Francolini] asked to vote in favor, because of the importance of the project for the president [Martinelli] and his government,” he said.

Both Arosemena and Arango Pezet said they knew that when Francolini talked about the boss, he meant Martinelli.

On November 30, 2016, the prosecutor’s office forwarded the fiscal hearing to the Thirteenth Criminal Court, with a request to call 16 people to trial. The hearing has not been held



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CD cohort arrested in laundering probe

Francolini and party supporters
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The Seventh Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has ordered the provisional arrest of Riccardo Francolini, as part of research on money transfers carried out by Jal Offshore Ltd. out through an investment account that he had in the failed securities brokerage Financial Pacific (FP).

The Cambio Democratico stalwart and Ricardo  Martinelli insider is facing several major corruption investigations which bear the hallmark of an administration in which there were no holds barred in financial manipulations and no locks on the public treasury.

The news of his arrest produced the anticipated outbursts from the remaining members of the Martinelli faction and accusations of political persecution from the party mouthpiece Luis Camacho.

Francolini is linked to this case -according to the prosecution- because through the company Goldline Overseas Business S.A. -of which he is the final beneficiary- $250,000 was turned in favor of the account Jal Offshore investment in FP.

The prosecution suspects money laundering in transactions through    Jal Offshore Ltd. because they came from people and companies that were not linked to the account.

Seventeen others are named in the case including six ex-directors of FP, and two other inner circle members who are under investigation in other corruption probes,  former vice-president Felipe Pipo Virzi and businessman Cristóbal Salerno.

This process originated from a complaint filed on June 22, 2015, by Ramón Diez Becciu, representing Marelisa Quintero de Stanziola, superintendent of securities.




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4 laundering case bail orders appealed

Riccardo Francolini, got $100.000 bail
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The Seventh anti-corruption prosecutor Leyda Saénz on Wednesday, May 23 filed an appeal against bail granted to four high profile defendants in a  money laundering case.

The bonds were granted by the Fourteenth Criminal Court to Riccardo Francolini, Ramsés Owens, Joel Watson, and Mariel Rodríguez Espino  linked to the investigation of alleged money laundering in the Jal Offshore company.

The company was supposedly used to launder money through an investment account in the now defunct Financial Pacific (FP) brokerage.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is investigating 13 other people and has asked Interpol to issue red alerts for the capture of six who have fled the country.



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Former State bank boss money laundering probe continues

Riccardo Francolini
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The Second Criminal Superior Court has denied an appeal requesting the annulment of a money laundering probe of   Riccardo Francolini  former chairman  of the State savings bank   who has a quiver of corruption arrows aimed at him.

The rejection  concerns an investigation of money transfers made  by the company Jal Offshore Ltd . through an investment account held in the scandal ridden  defunct brokerage  Financial Pacific (FP).

In an October 5 ruling, special alternate judges Alina Hubiedo and Zaida Cárdenas confirmed the decision of the 14th  Criminal Court, which took the  case, on July 16..

The magistrates considered that the prosecution practice after the expiration of the investigation  period was  not a ground for annulment of the process

as argued by Francolini in the appeal, through his lawyer Carlos Carrillo  who is also a member of the Martinelli defense team in the wiretap trial

“In this regard, it is important to clarify that the proceedings or proceedings carried out outside the term established in Article 2033 of the Judicial Code are not sanctioned with nullity …”, saids the ruling.

Francolini is linked to the case -according to the prosecution- because through the company

Goldline Overseas Business, SA – of which he is the final beneficiary – $250,000 was transferred in favor of the Jal Offshore investment account in Financial Pacific.

The prosecution suspects possible of money laundering in the transactions received by the Jal Offshore Ltd. account, because they came from persons and companies that were not linked to the account.

On May 21st, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor ordered the detention of Francolini, but

the 14thh Criminal Court granted him a $100,000 bail

Seventeen  17 other people, are linked  to the  investigation  including  six ex-directors of Financial

Pacific, the former vice president Felipe Pipo Virzi  facing numerous probes, and Cristóbal Salerno who has already been convicted in a multi-million dollar corruption case. All have close ties to Martinelli.



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Court lets Martinelli insiders off the hook


Riccardo Francolini, of the Martinelli inner circle

Posted 03/08/2019

the Second Superior Court of Justice on Friday, August 2, confirmed a lower court ruling that dismissed 22 people close to former president Ricardo Martinelli accused of crimes against public administration to the detriment of the state savings bank (CA).

The case is related to alleged irregularities in a loan of $9 million grant in 2012 by the bank to the HPC-Contracts-P & V for the construction of the Amador Convention Center which never happened.

The ruling of the Second Court favors  the former president of the board of directors of the CA Riccardo Francolini; former manager Jayson Pastor; and to the former vice president of Panama Felipe Pipo Virzi and Iván Clare and West Valdés, owners of the  scandal-ridden defunct  Financial Pacific brokerage,  the center of multiple corruption inquiries

Also off th hook are, Ricardo Arango Pezet, Ricardo Chanis Correa, Fernando Correa Jolly, Anastacio Ruiz De León, Elyonor Samudio de Ávila, Rodrigo Alonso Arosemena, Eric Quintero Ysern, Voldy Ivor Wedemeyer Ortega and Luis Jafet Díaz Bethancourth, to Mauricio Ortiz, Ricardo Alberto Calvo Latorraca, Manuel Antonio Morales, Luisa Sánchez Ovalle, Rolando López, Claudio Poma Murialdo, Tobías Garrido Nicolau, Jairzon Hurtado,

In August 2018, the Fourteenth Criminal Court, in charge of Judge Vilma Urieta, decreed the final dismissal of those charged.

Two weeks later the anti-corruption prosecutor, in charge of the investigation, appealed the judgment  before the Second Court.

Prosecutor Mojica Adecio Mojica said that they are evaluating possible actions.



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