QUITO – Brothers Roberto and William Isaias, former owners of a bank at the center of a 1990s financial meltdown that cost Ecuadorian taxpayers more than $8 billion, were sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison for embezzlement.
The two men have been living in the United States since 2000, when courts in Ecuador first began looking into the collapse of Filanbanco, where Roberto was president and William held the post of vice president.
Quito has begun the process of seeking their extradition and Interpol issued a Red Notice for the Isaias brothers last year.
The Ecuadorian National Court concluded, based on an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, that the brothers falsified Filanbanco’s financial statements for 1998.
Filanbanco was one of 30 banks that passed into government receivership in 1998-1999 amid the worst financial crisis in Ecuador’s history. Bank clients lost millions of dollars and the government spent more than $8 billion to clean up the mess.
Besides the Isaias brothers, the National Court sentenced six other former Filanbanco executives to jail terms ranging from three to eight years.
Five other defendants were acquitted. EFE