Peru’s most infamous convicted swindler arrested again for allegedly bilking seniors out of $2.2 million

Old habits die hard: Peru’s most infamous convicted conman Carlos Manrique was back behind bars Thursday for allegedly embezzling more than $2.2 million from more than 100 retired investors.

Manrique, who was convicted 13 years ago of orchestrating the biggest embezzlement case in Peru’s history, was nabbed by police as he left his home in Lima’s posh San Borja district Wednesday and led in handcuffs to police headquarters for interrogation.

“I have never scammed anyone,” Manrique, wearing a bulletproof vest, told reporters as he was escorted into the country’s Justice Palacein Lima’s downtown Thursday morning.

“Crook!, ” a crowd of retirees gathered outside the entrance shouted. “Give us our money back!”

An arrest warrant was issued against Manrique April 28 after more than 100 people, led by Nemesio Callahua and Yolanda de la Cruz , reported the alleged fraud to police.

The retirees said they were scammed out of more than $2.2 million of their life’s savings that Manrique allegedly promised to triple by investing in export products and lumber through a company called Universal Consultants S.A.C.

Peru’s former business man of the year, Manrique is most famous for his involvement in a Miami pyramid scheme that cheated 160,000 people out of some $350 million when he was president of the now-defunct company Centro Latinamericano de Asesoria Empresarial, or CLAE.

Arrested in 1994, Manrique was extradited to Peru in 1995 and jailed in the Castro Castro penitentiary until 2001.

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