United States Government confiscates $697,458.75 from the Martinelli Linares brothers

The United States government informed a New York court that it completed the process of confiscating money from the accounts belonging to Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, who pleaded guilty to using the United States financial system to launder the bribes that the company Brazilian Odebrecht paid to benefit “a high-ranking Panamanian government official” between 2009 and 2014.

On February 2, 2022, the United States Department of Justice filed with the Eastern District Court of New York a detailed statement, which includes the prosecution’s claims to the defendants for an amount of $697,458.75, corresponding to the funds deposited in accounts belonging to the two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal.

The receipt from the United States Marshals Service informs that the deposit of check #011648 from International Finance Bank, for an amount of $697,458.75, was made in the Seized Property Deposit Fund (SADF) account. English).

In a joint statement, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, and the Assistant District Attorney, Tanisha R. Payne, informed the court that the forfeiture of funds from the criminal industry had been completed, based on what was established in Title 18 of the United States Code.

The authorities have also ordered the confiscation of a million dollars that were traced by the US government. This money has not yet been recovered.

Last December, in separate hearings, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique admitted to District Judge Raymond J. Dearie that they had established secret bank accounts in the name of shell companies in foreign countries and in the United States to launder nearly $28 million in bribes. they received from Odebrecht, during the government of Martinelli Berrocal.

According to court documents, the New York Eastern District Attorney’s Office maintains that “Ricardo and Luis Martinelli Linares played integral roles in the corrupt scheme to funnel bribes from Odebrecht to a high-ranking Panamanian government official.”

It is argued in the statement that the Martinelli Linares brothers used the US financial system to promote their corruption scheme, creating shell company accounts in banks in jurisdictions offshore to try to evade responsibility. They also used part of the bribe proceeds for their personal benefit.

The Martinelli Linares brothers remain confined, without bail, in the federal detention center in Brooklyn. They will know their sentence next May. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

In Panama, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office asks to prosecute Martinelli Berrocal and his two sons for Odebrecht bribes. The preliminary hearing should start on July 18.

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