Bruce Bagley, from University of Miami, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted
FBI officials allege Bruce Bagley profited by helping others launder the proceeds of corruption in Venezuela.
Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
A US professor of international studies who co-wrote a book about organised crime and is an expert on money laundering and corruption in South America has been arrested on charges of laundering corruption proceeds from Venezuela.
Bruce Bagley, 73, of Coral Gables, Florida, was released on bail of $300,000 (£230,000) after appearing at Miami federal court.
The University of Miami professor faces a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two money laundering charges. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Bagley’s attorney, Daniel Forman, told the Miami Herald they planned to “diligently defend his case”, adding: “We’re confident at the end of the day he’s going to be vindicated.”
Bagley is co-author of Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Violence in the Americas Today, published in 2015, among other books, and has testified before Congress and as an expert in court and been interviewed by numerous news organisations.
William F Sweeney Jr, the head of the FBI’s New York office, said Bagley profited by helping others launder the proceeds of their crimes.
“About the only lesson to be learned from Prof Bagley today is that involving oneself in public corruption, bribery, and embezzlement schemes is going to lead to an indictment,” he said.
US attorney Geoffrey S Berman in New York said Bagley opened bank accounts specifically to launder money for corrupt foreigners.
“The funds Bagley was allegedly laundering were the proceeds of bribery and corruption, stolen from the citizens of Venezuela,” Berman said.
An indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court said that from November 2017 until April, Bagley agreed to receive about 14 deposits from bank accounts in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates totalling $3m.
It said Bagley believed the funds generated through public works projects in Venezuela were derived from graft and corruption.
According to the indictment, Bagley transferred the majority of the money into the bank accounts of a co-conspirator to conceal the nature, source and ownership of the funds. Authorities said Bagley kept a 10% commission for himself from the money he laundered.
The University of Miami said in a statement that Bagley was placed on administrative leave. “As this is a personal matter in an ongoing investigation, the university has no further comment at this time,” it said.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share via Email
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Pinterest
Share on WhatsApp
Share on Messenger
Reuse this content
This post was originally posted on Venezuela | The Guardian – View Original Article