Son of Panama’s ex-president pleads responsible in US corruption case

Luis Enrique Martinelli pleaded responsible to cash laundering in scheme involving Brazil conglomerate Odebrecht

The son of Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli has pleaded responsible to cash laundering as a part of an enormous corruption scheme involving Brazilian building conglomerate Odebrecht, United States prosecutors mentioned.

Luis Enrique Martinelli admitted to conspiring together with his brother Ricardo to ascertain offshore financial institution accounts “to receive and disguise over $28m in bribe proceeds”, the US Department of Justice mentioned in a assertion on Thursday.

“To advance the scheme, Luis Enrique Martinelli agreed with others to cause the wiring of the Odebrecht bribe funds into and out of the United States, and used some of the proceeds of the scheme to purchase a yacht and a condominium in the United States,” the assertion reads.

The 39-year-old acknowledged that among the cash was used to purchase a yacht and a condominium within the US, based on the division.

Sentencing for Martinelli, who was extradited to the US simply weeks in the past from Guatemala, is scheduled for May 20 subsequent 12 months. He faces a most sentence of 20 years in jail, the Justice Department mentioned.

His brother stays in custody in Guatemala, awaiting extradition. Both had been arrested there in July whereas making an attempt to travel to Panama and charged in relation to the scheme.

Their father Ricardo Martinelli, Panama’s ex-president, is himself underneath investigation within the Odebrecht scandal, however has introduced his intention to hunt re-election in 2024.

Investigations into Odebrecht have tarnished many leaders and political events in Latin America. Former bosses of the corporate have admitted in courtroom of illegally distributing thousands and thousands of {dollars} of bribes, in alternate for public contracts.