A former senior official at the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has been found guilty of illicit enrichment and sentenced to eight years in prison.
The investigation by the federal Attorney General’s office into the activities of Néstor Félix Moreno Díaz, which began over five years ago, revealed that the CFE’s director of operations received a payment of US $29,500 from the United States-based firm Lindsey Manufacturing Company in exchange for beneficial contracts.
Between 2001 and 2010, Moreno held no other job, earning just over 21 million pesos ($1.9 million) during that period.
Yet his assets increased disproportionately — by over 36 million pesos ($3.2 million), and he was unable to show that the source of those funds was legal.
Investigators discovered bank deposits totaling 7.7 million pesos, a piece of land in Ensenada, Baja California, worth more than 400,000 pesos, and several vehicles with prices ranging between 57,000 and 360,000 pesos.
The former official’s activities weren’t limited to Mexico. He used a United States-issued credit card to make purchases of 1.8 million pesos and bought a 22-million-peso yacht and a 3.3-million-peso Ferrari Spider.
Moreno also had his son enrolled at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, a private school in Delafield, Wisconsin.
Along with the eight years of incarceration Moreno is prohibited from holding any public office for a period of eight years and one month and must pay a fine of 31,000 pesos. Authorities will also seize any of his assets whose source cannot be verified.
Lindsey Manufacturing, its principals and a Mexican intermediary were convicted in California in 2011 of bribery and money laundering in connection with bribes paid to Moreno, but won an appeal later that year on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
U.S. authorities found Moreno received millions of dollars in bribes from Switzerland-based ABB Ltd. in exchange for contracts worth more than $100 million, the media site Sin Embargo reported.