Son of ex-Panama president pleads guilty in US corruption case | Corruption news

Luis Enrique Martinelli pleaded guilty to the crime of money laundering in a scheme involving the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht

The son of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli has pleaded guilty Money laundering It was part of a massive corruption scheme involving the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht, US prosecutors said.

Luis Enrique Martinelli has admitted conspiring with his brother Ricardo to set up offshore bank accounts to “receive and conceal more than $28 million in bribery proceeds,” the US Department of Justice said in statment Thursday.

“To move the scheme forward, Luis Enrique Martinelli agreed with others to cause Odebrecht’s bribery funds to be transferred into and out of the United States, and to use some of the proceeds from the scheme to purchase a yacht and apartment complex in the United States,” the statement reads.

The 39-year-old has admitted to using some of the money to purchase a yacht and an apartment complex in the United States, according to the department.

Judging Martinelli, who was delivered to the United States just weeks before Guatemala, and is scheduled for May 20 next year. The Justice Ministry said he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

His brother remains in detention in Guatemala pending his extradition. Both were arrested there in July while trying to travel to Panama and Accused Regarding the scheme.

their father Riccardo Martinelli, the former president of Panama, is himself under investigation in the Odebrecht scandal, but has announced his intention to run for re-election in 2024.

The Odebrecht investigations have discredited many leaders and political parties in Latin America. The former presidents of the company admitted in court to illegally distributing millions of dollars in bribes, in exchange for public contracts.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo