Breaking News: National Director of Anti-Corruption in Colombia Charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money in Order to Promote Foreign Bribery
National Director of Anti-Corruption in Colombia Charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money in Order to Promote Foreign Bribery
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in connection with the arrest of the National Director of Anti-Corruption in Colombia who is charged with conspiracy to launder money with the intent to promote foreign bribery.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, made the announcement.
Luis Gustavo Moreno Rivera, 35, the National Director of Anti-Corruption in Colombia and Leonardo Pinilla Gomez, 31, an attorney practicing in Colombia, were charged on June 23, 2017 by criminal complaint in the Southern District of Florida. The complaint charges the defendants with one count of conspiracy to launder money in order to promote foreign bribery. Both Rivera and Pinilla were arrested in Colombia pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice.
According to the criminal complaint, beginning in November 2016, a cooperating source of information (CS) was approached by Moreno and Pinilla who attempted to entice a bribe from the CS. Specifically, in exchange for 100 million Colombian pesos, Moreno and Pinilla offered to give the CS copies of sworn statements taken from cooperators who had testified against the CS. In June 2017, Moreno and Pinilla traveled to Miami, Florida and met with the CS who, under the direction of the DEA, provided Moreno and Pinilla with a $10,000 deposit of the bribe money. Recorded conversations revealed that Moreno and Pinilla discussed Moreno’s ability to control the investigation into the CS and that Moreno could inundate his prosecutors with work so that they would be unable to focus on the CS’s investigation. In exchange, Moreno and Pinilla were asking for a 400 million Colombian peso payment with an additional $30,000 to be paid prior to Moreno’s leaving the United States.
A criminal complaint further alleges that several of the $100 bills from the $10,000 paid to Moreno and Pinilla were found on Moreno and his family as they boarded their flight back to Bogota from Miami.
A criminal complaint merely contains allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Mr. Greenberg commends the DEA for their investigative assistance with this case. Mr. Greenberg also thanked the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Office of Judicial Attache in Colombia along with the DEA Bogota Country Office; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office and Attache Office in Colombia; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office and Attache Office in Colombia; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami Office of Field Operations; and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Legal Attache Office in Colombia, for their assistance in this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Lynn M. Kirkpatrick of the International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section in the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal partners commend the Attorney General of Colombia and the Cuerpo Tecnico de Investigacion (CTI) for their cooperative efforts in this investigation.