Over on Bloomberg, Joshua Goodman and Charlie Devereux put a human face on the sprawling Lechuga Verde fraud:
One teacher said he needed to shuttle out of the country the proceeds from the sale of an apartment in Caracas so he and his wife could start anew in Costa Rica, where their children had been studying. After the family paid down debt, the money was the only capital they possessed, he said.
While skeptical from the start, he said he took the risk after a friend carried out a successful transaction two months earlier. When the greenbacks failed to arrive, he said he sent a barrage of e-mails seeking to have his bolivars returned, even citing his limited mobility and battle with depression as a result of a stroke to soften up his faceless correspondent.