Monday, June 17, 2024

Mexico recovers US $2.5M in civil suit against García Luna

A Florida judge has ordered Genaro García Luna to return US $2.5 million to the Mexican government, which President López Obrador described as an “advance payment” on the more than US $600 million that Mexico seeks to reclaim from the former federal security minister.

Judge Lisa Walsh gave García Luna ten days to repay Mexico 44 million pesos (US $2,524,500), as part of a civil lawsuit over several Florida apartments he bought with his wife, Linda Cristina Pereyra, through their company Delta Integrator.

Genaro García Luna
García Luna will surrender US $1.97 million in assets from three liquidated Florida properties, plus the proceeds from another apartment worth US $555,800. (Tercero Díaz/Cuartoscuro)

Walsh ordered the company to surrender US $1.97 million in assets from three liquidated properties, plus the proceeds from another apartment worth US $555,800, after finding that the defendants had defaulted by failing to attend the trial.

“It is good news that a Florida judge backed the Mexican government in the claim against Mr. Genaro García Luna and his wife for goods they bought in Florida with money of illicit origin, with money from acts of corruption committed in Mexico,” AMLO said in his morning press conference on Friday.

“But remember that the claim is for US $600 million, we are just beginning to recover what was stolen, but something is something,” the president added.

In March, the Mexican Treasury’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) reported that the full amount claimed against García Luna is US $745.9 million – nearly 300 times the amount adjudicated so far.

The amount is not even 1% of what the Mexican government claims García Luna must repay. (lopezobrador.org.mx)

In May, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) obtained arrest warrants for García Luna and 60 other people for allegedly using illegal contracts to embezzle 5.1 billion pesos (US $280 million) from the department tasked with running federal prisons.

The FGR believes that this was one of several schemes used by García Luna to funnel public resources to companies controlled by him and his accomplices while he served as security minister during the 2006-2012 government of former president Felipe Calderón.

García Luna is currently in custody in the United States, where he is awaiting sentencing on drug trafficking charges following his conviction in February. In July, García Luna’s defense team succeeded in pushing back his sentencing to March 2024 so that they can review further evidence. García Luna denies all charges against him.

With reports from El Universal and La Jornada

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