Add nuns, priests, and religious convents to the long list of complainants embroiled in the InterBolsa financial scandal as multiple religous officials have filed complaints against the collapsed brokerage firm.
Various religious organizations and convents submitted claims to Ignacio Arguello, the man responsible for overseeing InterBolsa’s liquidation, including some claims for indeterminate value as the convents actually have no idea how much money they invested in the first place. What they are sure of, as newspaper El Espectador reported on Sunday, is that InterBolsa knew what they were doing and what they did was not on the up and up.
“It seems to have been knowingly,” said a sister of the religious order known as the Barefooted Carmelites. The sister was referring to the loss of $92,540 her convent lost amidst InterBolsa’s repo scheme.
The scheme, for which Interbolsa has come under criminal investigation, was a financial ploy where the company used assets owned by people like the sister of the convent to collateralize a borrow and buyback scheme with shares of Fabricato, a Colombian textile.
The high risk and unregulated actions, in turn, caused the firm’s liquidity to dry up. In late 2012, InterBolsa was unable to make a payment on an $11 million loan which spurred the firm’s subsequent liquidation.
Since then, government regulators have intervened to try and ensure that investors’ money will be returned.
But despite the fact that the majority of assets have been returned to investors, a long string of claims are still unresolved.
Some, like the convent of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of Medellín, filed claims for monies they believe fall under the actual value of their losses with InterBolsa because they simply don’t know how much they had invested with the brokerage.