WILLEMSTAD - On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Court of First Instance sentenced the 78-year-old Eric Garcia four years in prison for misappropriating $ 11 million, forgery and money laundering. In addition, he must repay the obscured amount of which converted to guilders is 19 million. If that does not happen, a three-year prison term will be added.
Garcia has transferred money that he had to manage as the liquidator in the bankruptcy of Banco Maracaibo to various foreign bank accounts. The money ended up with an investment firm in the US, after which it was used to buy Girobank shares, the bank of which the suspect was the director. This happened without the knowledge and without the required permission of the examining magistrate in the bankruptcy of Banco Maracaibo.
The defendant stated that it was a loan, but the Court sees it differently. According to the investment company, it was not a loan, but Garcia's contribution to the purchase of the Girobank shares. Neither is there any mention of a loan, a loan agreement is missing, and so far, 9 years after the date, nothing has been repaid.
When the examining magistrate started asking questions about the state of the bankruptcy account, the defendant falsified two bank statements and prepared a false bankruptcy report, pretending that the $11 million was still in the estate. In reality there was only 11,000 dollars left.
Through his actions, the Defendant has penalized the creditors of Banco Maracaibo. He has also grossly damaged the trust that should be able to be placed in a liquidator.
The General Court’s punishment is a year lower than that required by the public prosecutor. This is due to the passage of time in this case, but mainly because of the high age of the suspect. It has also been determined that Garcia will be detained immediately, pending possible appeal.