Ex-finance secretary Cuadra after his arrest in Nuevo Vallarta. Ex-cabinet secretary Cuadra after his arrest in Nuevo Vallarta.

After 5 years on the lam, ex-finance secretary arrested for embezzlement

Raúl Cuadra was allegedly involved in real estate and medical equipment scams in Aguascalientes

A former finance secretary of Aguascalientes was ordered to stand trial for embezzlement yesterday after he was arrested Friday in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit.

Aguascalientes police arrested Raúl Cuadra García at a hotel in the resort city where he was attending a family event, state Attorney General Jesús Figueroa Ortega said.

The ex-secretary, who served in the administration of former National Action Party (PAN) governor Luis Armando Reynoso Femat, had been on the lam since 2013.

He is accused of involvement in an embezzlement scheme in which Reynoso sold land intended for social housing at a price well below market value and ordered that funds be provided to the state’s health institute for the purchase of a 13.8-million-peso scanner. But the scanner never materialized.

Figueroa said that a warrant for Cuadra’s arrest was issued five years ago and that four operations to locate him in several states had been undertaken without success.

Cuadra was transferred to a prison in Aguascalientes but Figueroa said he could be released on bail as he awaits trial. Bail was set yesterday at 30.2 million pesos (US $1.55 million).

The attorney general also said that state authorities are still pursuing criminal charges against Reynoso, who governed Aguascalientes between 2004 and 2010.

The ex-governor was sentenced to six years in jail last year but avoided imprisonment because he had obtained a court ruling providing him with protection from incarceration.

Source: El Universal (sp), Heraldo de México (sp) 

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