HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Business Tycoon Busted for Tax Fraud
BRIEF

Guatemala Business Tycoon Busted for Tax Fraud

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 JUL 2016 BY SEAN TJADEN AND DAN ALDER EN

One of Guatemala's most important business figures has been arrested for tax evasion, as the corruption scandals that have rocked the country’s political elite appear to be expanding to encompass prominent members of the private sector.

Carlos Enrique Monteros Castillo, owner and president of the Camino Real hotel chain, was apprehended July 9 at Guatemala City's international airport in connection with "tax fraud and special tax fraud" related to his company, the Attorney General's office reported. Camino Real S.A.'s administrative manager, José Humberto Jiménez Contreras, was arrested at his home in Guatemala City.

On July 13, a judge ordered Jiménez Contreras into house arrest and gave the prosecutors office one month to make its case against him.   

Camino Real owner and legal representative Monteros Castillo was detained upon returning from the United States and taken to a courthouse holding cell where he stayed briefly before moving to a private hospital for medical reasons, Prensa Libre reported.

The charges stem from an investigation begun in 2012 after the Superintendent for Tax Administration (SAT) informed prosecutors that audits had uncovered irregularities at the firm, the Attorney General's Office said in a statement. Authorities allege that the hotel executives used an intermediary named Norman Tejeda, who administered some 70 shell companies and "sold receipts for a percentage to simulate purchases and evade taxes." 

Monteros Castillo was arrested late Saturday and by Tuesday the government had been paid the equivalent of approximately $5.9 million in back taxes, interest and penalties, Prensa Libre reported. The latest statement on the case from the Attorney General’s Office did not specify whether or not the hotel owner was still under arrest.

InSight Crime Analysis

This high-profile tax evasion case follows a series of corruption scandals involving the country's top political leaders. Corruption charges brought by the Attorney General’s Office and the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) led to the resignation and jailing of President Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president, Roxana Baldetti.

Pérez Molina and Baldetti have been charged with running a huge customs fraud scheme, collecting bribes from a Spanish port management firm, and receiving vacation homes and other extravagant gifts from members of their cabinet, some of which were purchased with purloined public funds.

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles 

Digging into the administration’s dealings prosecutors uncovered that they came to power under the banner of the Patriot Party (Partido Patriota - PP) via massive campaign finance fraud that spawned a the case dubbed Cooptación del Estado.

“It was easy for the criminal structure of the PP to get into power thanks to the financing of all manner of businessmen,” according to CICIG.

Among the accused was prominent banker Flavio Montenegro Castillo, who promptly resigned as general manager of Banco G&T Continental. The bank describes itself as Guatemala’s second biggest financial group. The president of Banrural, Fernando Peña, was also charged in that case.

Not long after announcing the cooptation case Attorney General Thelma Aldana complained of receiving threats. She has been outside of Guatemala for the past three weeks.

That authorities are targeting big fish in the private sector as well as the government signals a willingness to root out deeply entrenched corruption even among the rich and powerful. Aldana’s absence may be an indication that that battle is far from won.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 4 NOV 2020

When it comes to combating organized crime and drug trafficking, US President Donald Trump has chosen to strongarm his Latin…

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 NOV 2018

A representative of Central America's parliamentary institution from Guatemala has been linked to a criminal organization with longstanding ties to…

COLOMBIA / 10 APR 2020

In October 2019, InSight Crime conducted a telephone interview with Álvaro Rincón, the husband of Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…