It’s taken over a decade, but the former wife of online gambling exec Adam Anhang has been convicted of complicity in his murder.
On Wednesday, a Puerto Rico court convicted Aurea Vazquez-Rijos for her role in the 2005 murder of Anhang, the Canadian founder of Costa Rica-based live dealer online casino firm CWC (Casino Web Cam) Gaming. The jury also convicted Vazquez’s sister and a former boyfriend of conspiracy in the killing.
Vazquez was accused of hiring a hit man to kill Anhang just 12 hours after he filed for divorce from Vazquez, whom he’d married six months earlier. That hitman, a local drug dealer named Alex Pabón-Colón, pled guilty to stabbing Anhang multiple times outside a San Juan restaurant to which Anhang had been lured by Vazquez, ostensibly to discuss the terms of their divorce.
A restaurant employee was originally fingered as Anhang’s killer, but after Pabón’s arrest in 2008, Vazquez fled to Italy, banking on the country’s lack of an extradition treaty with the United States for individuals charged with capital crimes. In 2013, Vazquez was arrested after traveling to Spain, and was extradited to Puerto Rico two years later.
Jurors heard that Vazquez promised Pabón $3m in exchange for murdering Anhang, whose net worth was estimated at C$24m when the couple signed a prenuptial agreement. Under that deal, Vazquez was to receive $8m in the event of the dissolution of their marriage. Pabón said he was never paid the $3m, in part because Vazquez never collected on her expected share of Anhang’s estate.
The same day Anhang was murdered, the couple participated in a counselling session, during which Vazquez warned Anhang that she was “not going to let you go that easy.”
Prosecutors have indicated that they won’t seek the death penalty for Vazquez, who is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2019, although her attorneys have indicated they intend to appeal the verdict.
While Pabón has been in custody since his 2008 arrest, his official sentencing was delayed until the case against Vazquez was concluded. He’s expected to catch a break on his sentence based on his cooperation with the prosecution.