Former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte and his wife Karime Macías built a multi-million-dollar real estate empire made up of more than 90 properties, according to an analysis completed by the newspaper Reforma.
Through the examination of investigations conducted by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) and prosecutors in the ex-governor’s home state, Reforma counted more than 40 properties purchased by the couple in Mexico as well as more than 50 additional real estate assets acquired in the United States and Spain.
Duarte is currently in prison awaiting trial on charges of corruption and organized crime after being extradited to Mexico from Guatemala in July 2017, while Macías is reportedly living a life of luxury in London.
From the British capital it is just a short flight to Spain, where according to the Veracruz Attorney General’s office, the couple own apartments in both Madrid and Bilbao.
In the Spanish capital, Duarte and Macías own a 100-square-meter apartment worth more than 5 million euros (US $5.8 million) just meters from the Buen Retiro Park, Reforma said.
However, it’s Florida in the United States where the husband and wife really spent big, purchasing 23 houses, apartments and commercial buildings in Miami alone as well as a further 18 properties in the nearby cities of Homestead, Florida City, Cutler Bay and Coral Gables.
Duarte and Macías’ other U.S. properties, purchased either in their names or those of prestanombres or front men, are located in the exclusive Woodlands residential estate north of Houston, Texas, and in Scottsdale, Arizona. The couple also own five timeshare condominiums in the St. Regis Hotel in New York, Reforma said.
In Mexico, Duarte and Macías reportedly own land, houses and apartments in Cancún, Campeche, Ixtapa, Boca del Río, Valle de Bravo and three affluent neighborhoods of Mexico City.
Twenty-one parcels of land the couple acquired in Campeche are valued at 200,000 pesos (US$10,600) but, according to Reforma, the ex-governor paid 253 million pesos (US $13.45 million) for them through a shell company.
The newspaper said that Duarte’s former “financial mastermind,” José Juan Janeiro Rodríguez, is cooperating with the PGR and in January 2017 supplied the federal department with information detailing bank transfers made by Duarte’s administration that together total 1.39 billion pesos (US $73.9 million at today’s exchange rate).
It also said that Janeiro had promised to provide more evidence in exchange for the cancelation of any arrest warrants issued against him.
In a message accompanying evidence sent to the PGR on a USB flash drive, Janeiro says that as far as he is aware, he was the only person in possession of the information he was supplying.
The information, he said, detailed the origin and destination of some of the public funds allegedly embezzled by Duarte, who was in office from 2010 to 2016 before fleeing the country.
The so-called financial mastermind also said that he was prepared to testify in court if required but added “that can only occur once the arrest warrant or warrants against me have been canceled.”
On February 2, 2017, an arrest warrant against Janeiro on charges of money laundering and organized crime was revoked, Reforma said, but a PGR investigation into tax fraud was not suspended.