United States authorities have charged a former finance secretary in the Tabasco state government with money laundering and bank fraud.
An indictment charging José Manuel Saiz Pineda, 49, was unsealed following the arrest of his wife last Wednesday in Houston, Texas, said acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
A federal grand jury in Corpus Christi returned a sealed indictment against Saiz on April 26.
The former secretary’s wife, Silva Beatriz Pérez-Caballos, 49, was arrested at her home in Sugar Land. The couple are charged along with business associate Martín Alberto Medina Sonda with money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Both men are currently in custody in Tabasco. In Mexico, Saiz faces charges of embezzlement and the improper exercise of public service; his associate was sentenced in April to 12 years for the use of funds from illegal sources.
Prosecutors in the U.S. are seeking the seizure of US $50 million in bank accounts and real estate in four American states and Bermuda that have been linked to the three alleged conspirators.
Saiz was finance secretary from 2007 until 2012 in the government of Andrés Granier Melo, who himself was arrested in 2013 on embezzlement and corruption charges.
The three face up to 30 years in jail and a $1-million fine for the bank fraud charge and 20 years and a $500,000 maximum fine for money laundering.
Source: Animal Político (sp)