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NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

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NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por Guest el Sáb Mayo 03, 2008 3:15 am

A Last Vanishing Act for Robert Vesco, Fugitive
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Published: May 3, 2008

HAVANA — Robert L. Vesco, the fugitive financier who spent most of his life eluding American justice, might even have managed to die on the sly.Skip to next paragraph [url='', '03vesco_ready', 'width=720,height=600,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes')]Enlarge This Image[/url]
[url='', '03vesco_ready', 'width=720,height=600,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes')] [/url]Associated Press

Robert L. Vesco in 1974. He fled the United States in 1971 to avoid legal problems, and after a long odyssey avoiding American justice, friends say he died in November from lung cancer.


Times Topics: Robert L. Vesco

Associated Press

Robert L. Vesco in 1973.

Mr. Vesco, who was sentenced to a long prison term in Cuba in 1996 and was wanted in the United States for crimes ranging from securities fraud and drug trafficking to political bribery, died more than five months ago, on Nov. 23, from lung cancer, say people close to him. If so, it was never reported publicly by the Cuban authorities, who said Friday that they considered him a “nonissue.” American officials said Friday they knew nothing about his death.
“We don’t know that it occurred,” an American official said.
If Mr. Vesco indeed eluded the American authorities until his final day, it was the fitting end to his nearly four decades on the run. He was wanted for, among other things, bilking some $200 million from credulous investors in the 1970s, making an illegal contribution to Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign and trying to arrange a deal during the Carter administration to let Libya buy American planes in exchange for bribes to United States officials.
Mr. Vesco last made the news a decade ago when he was sentenced to prison in Cuba, where he had taken sanctuary, for a financial scheme. He emerged in recent years and lived a quiet life in Havana until he contracted lung cancer. After about a week in a hospital, friends say, he died and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Given the controversial nature of the man, none of his friends dared be identified for fear of running afoul of the Cuban authorities. While word of Mr. Vesco’s death could be the final ruse of a 72-year-old modern-day buccaneer who had every reason to drop off the radar, it would have to be an elaborate one.
Records at Colón Cemetery in Havana indicate that a Robert Vesco was buried there on Nov. 24, and photographs and videos viewed by The New York Times show a man resembling him in a casket with his longtime Cuban companion looking over him.
Other photos show him coughing and clearly in pain in a hospital bed on what a friend said was the day before he died. There are also photos of a small group of people attending his burial.
His last days, a friend said, were in marked contrast to his ebullient pre-prison phase, when he partied lavishly, chain smoked and talked big.
Some of those who knew Mr. Vesco said it would not surprise them if he had orchestrated a fake death, to slip away one more time. “He could have died,” said Arthur Herzog, an author who interviewed Mr. Vesco in Cuba for a biography. “But Bob has used disguises in the past.”
On top of that, Mr. Herzog said, an intermediary who lives on the island had left the impression that he was in contact with Mr. Vesco in Cuba within the last month.
After a criminal odyssey that began on Wall Street, Mr. Vesco fled the United States in 1971, along the way repeatedly demonstrating the power of money to overcome any ideology.
His associates and protectors included democratically elected presidents in Costa Rica, the left-wing Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the cocaine barons of Colombia, the terrorism-tainted government in Libya, and, finally, the Communist government of Fidel Castro.
Whereas the American government considered Mr. Vesco to be an American fugitive, he had apparently somehow gained Italian citizenship. A friend provided a copy of an Italian passport issued in 2006 that bore Mr. Vesco’s name and photograph.
The friend said representatives from the Italian Embassy had visited Mr. Vesco while he was in jail and had assisted with his funeral arrangements. An Italian Embassy official did not return calls seeking comment.
Having lived comfortably in Havana for more than a dozen years, Mr. Vesco was convicted and jailed there for fraud in 1996 after reportedly double-crossing Fidel Castro’s relatives in a bogus wonder-drug deal.
How much truth there was to the allegation was impossible to know for certain because accusations against the shadowy financier have always seemed to mix rumor and fact.
At the height of his notoriety in the 1970s, Mr. Vesco looked like a tough guy out of Hollywood central casting — tall, craggy-faced, with a mustache, long sideburns and sunglasses. He liked to burnish his image as an unpredictable rogue driven as much by perverse pride as by crass profit.
He also delighted in thumbing his nose at Cuban agents who were on his trail. They responded by suggesting that Mr. Vesco was the mastermind behind every sort of money-laundering, narcotics and smuggling plot in the Caribbean.


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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por Guest el Sáb Mayo 03, 2008 3:16 am

Published: May 3, 2008

(Page 2 of 2)
“With even a fraction of what he was supposed to have stolen he could have disappeared,” wrote Mr. Herzog, in his 1987 biography, “Vesco: From Wall Street to Castro’s Cuba, The Rise, Fall and Exile of the King of White Collar Crime.” [url= vesco&st=nyt&scp=1#secondParagraph]Skip to next paragraph[/url]

Times Topics: Robert L. Vesco

Instead, Mr. Vesco seemed to have a compulsion to call attention to himself from his places of exile. A self-made man, he seemed hardly able to help it.
A high school dropout from Detroit, he lied about his age to get a job on an automobile assembly line. At 21, he moved to New Jersey to work for a struggling manufacturer of machine tools.
He took over the company when it went bankrupt, rebuilt it and renamed it the International Controls Corporation. By the age of 30, Mr. Vesco was a millionaire.
He later turned his sights on a Switzerland-based mutual fund company, Investment Overseas Services (I.O.S.). When that, too, ran into trouble, Mr. Vesco offered to rescue the company and was embraced as a white knight by investors terrified of losing their savings.
He bought I.O.S. in 1970 for less than $5 million, gaining control of an estimated $400 million in funds. The accounting at the company had been so chaotic that Mr. Vesco, by adding a few subterfuges of his own, was able to plunder its holdings at will.
After numerous complaints, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission carried out an investigation. In 1972, the commission charged Mr. Vesco and others in a civil suit with stealing more than $224 million.
But Mr. Vesco had already fled, first to the Bahamas and then to Costa Rica. There, he established a close friendship with President José Figueres, plowing some $11 million into his adopted country.
“I wish more Vescos would come to Costa Rica — we need them,” said Mr. Figueres on television in response to criticism that he was harboring a criminal.
Mr. Vesco also befriended Donald A. Nixon Jr., a nephew of President Richard M. Nixon, and gave $200,000 to the Nixon campaign, apparently hoping the president would help quash the investigation against him.
It was to no avail. But to the frustration of the F.B.I. Mr. Vesco remained tantalizingly out of reach in Costa Rica, where he passed himself off as a progressive dairy and cattle rancher, and an investor in high-tech projects.
Eventually, one of his high-tech brainstorms — a factory to make machine guns, which included President Figueres’s son as a partner — became his undoing.
A public and political outcry ensued, and by 1978 he was forced to leave for the Bahamas, the beginning of years of hopscotching that included stops in Antigua and Nicaragua, before Cuba finally accepted him for “humanitarian” reasons.
“We don’t care what he did in the United States,” Fidel Castro said. “We’re not interested in the money he has.”
In Cuba, Mr. Vesco grew a beard, donned a white guayabera shirt and passed himself off as a Canadian citizen named Tom Adams. He and his family lived in a suburban Havana house that was modest by United States standards but lavish for Cubans. Within a few years, allegations began to circulate about Mr. Vesco’s involvement in narcotics trafficking, and he was named as a co-conspirator in the trial in Florida of Carlos Lehder Rivas, a reputed leader of Colombia’s biggest drug cartel.
Mr. Vesco eventually ran afoul of the Castro government with a scheme to produce a wonder drug that supposedly cured cancer, AIDS, arthritis and even the common cold. He was accused of defrauding a state-run biotechnology laboratory run by Fidel Castro’s nephew, Antonio Fraga Castro, and sentenced to 13 years. After serving most of his time in a private cell in a large prison in eastern Cuba, Mr. Vesco was quietly released in 2005 and lived so simply in recent years in Havana that a friend said he did not know what had happened to his fortune.


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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por Guest el Sáb Mayo 03, 2008 3:18 am

Noticia divulgada ayer por ‘The New York Times’

Fugitivo Robert Vesco habría muerto de cáncer en Cuba

Periódico dice que fallecimiento ocurrió por tumor pulmonar hace cuatro meses

Vesco se refugió en Costa Rica entre 1972-1978 por fraude en EE. UU.Marcela Cantero y Vanessa Loaiza |

El fugitivo estadounidense, Robert Lee Vesco, quien vivió en Costa Rica entre 1972 y 1978, habría muerto hace cuatro meses por un cáncer de pulmón en Cuba, informó anoche el periódico The New York Times .

Sin identificar la fuente de su información, el diario sostiene que Vesco, nacido en 1935, habría fallecido el 23 de noviembre.


“Murió hace más de cuatro meses, el 23 de noviembre, después de una lucha contra el cáncer de pulmón, dijeron personas cercanas a él”, dijo el rotativo.

The New York Times intentó confirmar su información con autoridades cubanas, que dijeron que el caso no es “relevante”.

Por su parte, fuentes estadounidenses negaron conocer algún detalle sobre la supuesta muerte.

“Nosotros no sabemos si eso ocurrió”, dijo un oficial estadounidenses, quien no estaba autorizado a discutir el asunto.

Vesco llegó a Costa Rica en 1972 huyendo de Estados Unidos, donde se le acusó por un fraude de $224 millones contra inversionistas.

Aquí, contó con la ayuda de los gobiernos de José María Figueres Ferrer y Daniel Oduber.

El fugitivo incluso pretendió crear acá un “distrito financiero internacional” para darle “estatuto jurídico de excepción” a los capitales sin nacionalidad. El 5 de diciembre de 1972, en cadena nacional de televisión, Figueres Ferrer dijo que el financista ya había invertido en Costa Rica $13 millones y que planeaba inyectar otros $42 millones.

En 1978, el gobierno de Rodrigo Carazo lo expulsó del país y, en 1982, el estadounidense se atrincheró en Cuba gracias a su relación con el dictador Fidel Castro.

En 1996, sin embargo, fue detenido en La Habana y encarcelado bajo sospecha de ser “un provocador y un agente de servicios especiales extranjeros”. Se le condenó a 13 años de prisión.

Otras informaciones citan que, en realidad, Vesco intentó un fraude contra Raúl Castro.

Ahora, archivos del cementerio Colón, en La Habana, consultados por el diario The New York Times , indican que Vesco fue incinerado el 24 de noviembre.

“Fotografías y videos vistos por The New York Times muestran a un hombre parecido a él en un cofre”, dice el diario.

“Otras fotos lo muestran tosiendo y claramente con color en una cama de hospital donde un amigo dice que estuvo un día antes de que el muriera. También hay fotos de un pequeño grupo que acudió a su incineración”.

Imagen de Robert Vesco cuando se promocionaba como un inversionista en Costa Rica, donde vivió en la década de los setentas. Archivo

Un protegido

En el país: Robert Lee Vesco llegó a Costa Rica en 1972 para establecer un distrito financiero internacional.

Apadrinado: Pese a las críticas de la prensa costarricense y la posición política, los gobiernos de José Figueres Ferrer (1970-1974) y Daniel Oduber Quirós (1974-1978) lo protegieron en sus años acá.

Buscado: En 1972, Estados Unidos lo acusó por el fraude de $224 millones en contra de la firma Investors Overseas Services. Entonces, se suponía que Vesco había diluido los fondos en una compleja red de empresas falsas, 88 de las cuales estaban inscritas acá.

Salida: En 1978, bajo el gobierno de Rodrigo Carazo, Vesco viajó a Bahamas. Luego, Carazo le impidió su reingreso.


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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por Wajiro el Lun Mayo 12, 2008 4:00 pm

I'll Believe it when I see the body !
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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por el triste el Lun Mar 23, 2009 1:19 pm

este fue otro que castro lo uso asta esprimirle el ultimo centabo muchas personas se an puesto a desir en la tv que si la seguridad devesco era de aqui o de por aca , senores la seguridad que le puso cara de coco a ese senor desde el prinsipio siempre fue de la dgoe de tropas espesiales del minint y recuerdo que el jefe de ese grupo era el quimbe y tambien recuerdo que vesco tenia un hijo con problema de esefalitico no se si lo dije bien pero yo si estube alli, abajo la dictadura castro comunista,el triste
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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

Mensaje por francisco germes cuesta el Lun Mar 23, 2009 4:58 pm

Muy buena informacion.
Gracias a los participantes.

Saludos y respetos

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Re: NY Times.., Robert Vesco died more than five months ago.

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