MIAMI – Former Guatemala economy minister regularly received backpacks, duffel bags, and briefcases full of dirty money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
At least two Miami companies, a Guatemalan bank, banks in the U.S. were involved in the $9.5 million money-laundering scheme, according to FBI Special Agent Paul J. West.
“During holiday season, cash was delivered clandestinely in boxes of liquor designed to look like holiday gifts,” West said during a deposition.
Acisclo Valladares, a Guatemalan attorney who studied at Georgetown University, was sworn in as the Central American country’s economy minister in 2018.
the 44-year-old son of Guatemala’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and a father of four, knew the money came from narcotrafficking and used it to help bribe corrupt politicians in Guatemala, prosecutors said.
Valladares’s demand for bribe cash “was allegedly so great, he allegedly once remarked to a co-conspirator