Judge refuses to reduce 60-year-sentence of Costa Rican man in $485M global insurance scam

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RICHMOND, Virginia — A judge in Virginia has refused to reduce the 60-year sentence of a former Costa Rican businessman and professional soccer team owner who still claims he was wrongly convicted of a $485 million insurance scam.

Minor Vargas Calvo asked for the reduction in a handwritten 10-page letter to U.S. District Judge John Gibney. In the letter, Vargas continues to try to explain his actions. He insists he lacked criminal intent, yet claims he is rehabilitated. He made the same claims at his 2012 sentencing.

Gibney denied the request for a sentence reduction in a brief order Wednesday.

The 64-year-old Vargas was convicted on 10 fraud and money-laundering charges. Prosecutors said his insurance scam claimed thousands of victims worldwide. Many lost their life savings.

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