Several people in South Florida, United States, They report having become victims of a scam that would have been led by a Colombian.

Through an investment company, also with offices in Bogotá and Madrid, Spain, the man promised them good profitability with a business in which clients invested to earn monthly interest.
According to those who claim to be his victims, Juan Manuel Castro, 53, hid behind the appearance of a noble, religious and honest man.

They point out that little by little he entered their circle of friends and quickly gained their trust.

Juan Manuel Castro, a Colombian with permanent residence in the United States, is the designated person of having manipulated several Miami residents to convince them to invest in an alleged business through a company called Vertical Digital Group INC.

“So he is gaining my trust and more and more rightly so from the church. For me he was like an older brother, a dad. He advised you,” said Raquel Santaolalla, victim of the scam.

Raquel had not only just gotten out of a difficult divorce, but she was also overcoming leukemia. Furthermore, she wanted to start a new life as a single mother and that is why, under her false promises, she gave all of her savings to the Colombian.

It was 270,000 dollars, around 1,000 million Colombian pesos, the money that the woman lost.

Since February 1, 2024, Juan Manuel disappeared with the money and they have not been able to find his whereabouts.

“I told him: ‘They’re going to take my child away, you’re killing me,’ and he didn’t care. He defrauded retired people, 75 years old, a man almost 80, and the church itself,” Raquel said.

Jacqueline Díaz, another scam victim, began by giving the alleged criminal $25,000, about 94 million Colombian pesos.

“Seeing that things were going well, that he paid me my money monthly, I said ‘well, let’s add five more,’” Díaz revealed.

When three checks that Juan Manuel Castro gave to Jacqueline bounced due to lack of funds, It was when the woman tried to contact him and everything was discovered.

A criminal report indicates that Castro already had a record of charges related to fraud, aggravated theft and fraud. The new complaint has already been filed.

At the addresses registered as their place of residence in Florida, no one responds.

Despite this, the company Vertical Digital Group INC, apparently, maintains operational offices in Colombia and Spain. According to official records from the State of Florida, the company is still active. However, the company’s website has already been deleted.


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