Saturday, October 31, 2020

Crime expert professor to plead guilty in Venezuela corruption scheme


A University of Miami professor who is a top expert on money laundering in Latin America is scheduled to plead guilty for trying to hide $3 million in proceeds from a corruption scheme with Venezuela’s socialist government.

Bruce Bagley, 73, was arrested in November on three counts of money laundering. Authorities said the charges arose from deposits he received from bank accounts in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates that allegedly contained the stolen proceeds from a Venezuelan public housing project.

Soon afterward, he was freed on $300,000 bail after pleading not guilty. But this week, filings in the New York federal court indicated he would change his plea to guilty in a hearing scheduled for March 20. His lawyer, Peter Quijano, declined to comment.

Bagley, an international studies professor, is co-author of “Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Violence in the Americas Today,” published in 2015, among other books. He has testified before Congress, as an expert in court and been interviewed by numerous news organizations including The Associated Press.

- Advertisement -

Over the years he held numerous leadership positions at the University of Miami, where he had a reputation as a brilliant scholar.

After the indictment, the University of Miami suspended Bagley.

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the FBI’s New York office, said in a release at the time of the arrest that Bagley profited by helping others launder the proceeds of their crimes.

“About the only lesson to be learned from Professor Bagley today is that involving oneself in public corruption, bribery, and embezzlement schemes is going to lead to an indictment,” he said.

- Advertisement -

According to the indictment, Bagley transferred 90% of the money into the accounts of a co-conspirator to conceal the nature, source and ownership of the funds. But he kept a 10% commission for himself.

The funds came from a food company controlled by a Colombian individual, according to the indictment. That individual is Colombian businessman Alex Saab, according to a person familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity about an ongoing probe.

The U.S. Treasury Department last year sanctioned Saab for allegedly running a corruption network that profited from a no-bid contract to import food to Venezuela on behalf of Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. Saab also has been indicted in Miami federal court on charges of money laundering tied to a public housing program run by Maduro.

Saab’s U.S. lawyer, Maria Dominguez, declined to comment.

Bagley’s accounts were shut down in October 2018 due to suspicious activity. But, federal authorities said, he opened another account and allegedly continued to accept the dirty Venezuelan cash several more times.

Throughout the alleged scheme, he discussed with a co-conspirator the fact the funds he was moving “represented the proceeds of foreign bribery and embezzlement stolen from the Venezuelan people,” according to the indictment.

Original article on


Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World


Latest News

This Week

Former DEA spokesman sentenced to 7 years for posing as CIA agent to scam $4 million

A former spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was sentenced to 7 years in prison Wednesday for posing as a CIA agent on...

Two U.S. Navy service members get prison for defrauding military insurance program

Two U.S. Navy service members were sentenced in San Diego federal court Friday for their roles in an insurance fraud scheme that involved making false medical claims to...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Namibia probes oil firm Acer petroleum over bribes paid to government officials

THE mines and energy ministry says it is investigating allegations that an oil company bribed some senior officials to fast-track licence applications. The senior officials...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks