U.S. expenses Miami professor in Venezuela cash laundering scheme

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(Information) – A College of Miami professor who studied drug trafficking and arranged crime in Latin America was arrested on expenses he helped launder funds embezzled from Venezuela into america, U.S. prosecutors mentioned on Monday.

Prosecutors in New York accused professor Bruce Bagley of receiving $2.5 million in deposits from financial institution accounts in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that have been the proceeds of bribery and embezzlement in Venezuela, a Manhattan U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace press launch mentioned. It mentioned he retained about 10% as a fee.

Bagley didn’t instantly reply to an e mail despatched to his College of Miami handle looking for remark.

A College of Miami spokeswoman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The case is a part of U.S. prosecutors’ efforts to crack down on the usage of the U.S. monetary system to launder proceeds from rampant corruption in oil-rich Venezuela, which is present process a hyperinflationary financial meltdown that has prompted thousands and thousands to to migrate.

Bagley was a frequent media commentator in regards to the disaster in Venezuela, and in 2015 printed a ebook titled “Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence within the Americas Immediately.” In a 2016 Univision article in regards to the arrest of two nephews of Venezuelan First Woman Cilia Flores on drug trafficking expenses, Bagley was quoted as saying, “the nephews are simply the tip of the iceberg.”

The indictment of Bagley unsealed on Monday mentioned that in 2016 he opened an account at a Florida financial institution for an organization that listed himself and his partner as officers and administrators. In November 2017, the account started to obtain funds from a UAE-based meals firm managed by a Colombian.

The account didn’t identify the Colombian one who held the abroad accounts, and didn’t element how the funds have been embezzled from Venezuela.

Prosecutors allege that Bagley created faux contracts to justify the switch of funds, and that he and the Colombian had mentioned the origin of the funds.

Final 12 months, Venezuela’s former nationwide treasurer was sentenced by a U.S. choose to 10 years in jail over allegations he obtained greater than $1 billion in bribes. He pleaded responsible to plotting to launder the funds in america.

Reporting by Luc Cohen; modifying by Grant McCool