Saturday, October 4, 2014

Former Tamaulipas governor's brother-in-law indicted in US for money laundering

Borderland Beat republished from My San Antonio Express

By Guillermo Contreras and  Jason Buch
The brother-in-law of a former governor of the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has been indicted on charges he helped the ex-politician launder bribe money in Texas.

Oscar Gomez Guerra, 43, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Corpus Christi on charges of conspiring to launder monetary instruments and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, Kenneth Magidson, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said Friday.

Gomez is married to the sister of former Tamaulipas Gov. Eugenio Hernández Flores, who served from 2005 to 2010. [governor is in photo above and below with EPN]

Gomez, who's currently a fugitive, said in a statement sent to Mexican media that his properties in the U.S. were bought with the proceeds of his Mexican business.

He said U.S. authorities never tried to contact him about his business, “which was conducted legitimately and in conformity with Mexican laws.”

He also added that whatever transactions are in question have nothing to do with the former governor.
Hernández has not been formally charged — though prosecutors have accused him of taking bribes from the Zetas so the cartel could operate freely in Tamaulipas, which borders Texas. Hernández also denies the allegations.

The indictment alleges Gomez conspired to commit international money laundering starting about January 2008 and aided and abetted the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business run by a Mexican businessman who lived part-time in San Antonio.

The businessman, Guillermo Flores Cordero, is in jail in Corpus Christi and was set to be sentenced there this week, but his hearing was postponed until February.

The indictment against Gomez includes a notice of criminal forfeiture for a home in Austin valued at $2.7 million and another in McAllen valued at $500,000 — properties the feds claim may have been purchased with illicit funds. 

The federal government also is seeking a personal money judgment from Gomez in the amount of $10 million. 

His prosecution is the latest in a series of U.S. money-laundering investigations targeting people close to governors in two states bordering Texas — Coahuila and Tamaulipas.

If convicted of the money-laundering conspiracy, Gomez faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice what was laundered. Operating an unlicensed money transmitting business carries a maximum five years in prison.

The feds also have accused Hernández but haven't charged him — or at least unsealed any formal charges against him like they did in Gomez's case — of money laundering activities. 

Allegations against Hernández first surfaced in a transcript of the Dec. 5 plea hearing of Flores, in which he pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy.

During the hearing, prosecutors said Flores, who split his time between his homes in Coahuila and San Antonio, had run an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

He used shell companies to wire money from Mexico to bank accounts in the Rio Grande Valley on behalf of others to disguise where the funds were coming from, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Hampton said.

Among Flores' clients, according to the transcript, were Hernández and members of his family.

Hernández had good reason to disguise the source of the money, prosecutors contended.

“Eugenio Hernández has been identified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as receiving bribes from the Los Zetas drug cartel, a transnational criminal organization, in order for the cartel to have the unfettered ability to operate in Tamaulipas while Mr. Hernández was governor, ” Hampton said in the hearing.

Hampton said that between 2009 and 2012, Flores used shell companies to wire $30 million into the U.S. for his clients and made $2.5 million in commission. Federal authorities have seized millions of dollars in Flores' U.S. bank accounts and his house in The Dominion in Bexar County. 

In a statement circulated to Mexican media in July, Hernandez said he “categorically denies” the allegations.

“It's a totally false declaration,” Hernandez wrote. “I'm clean. I was investigated along with my family exhaustively and with full rigor in Mexico by the past federal administration. ...”

Hernández succeeded then-Tamaulipas Gov. Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, who served from 1999 to
2005. Yarrington himself was indicted in Corpus Christi last year and is being sought on charges that include racketeering, money laundering and drug trafficking.

The charges also claim he was laundering bribes in South Texas from the Zetas, and that the Gulf Cartel the Zetas once worked for paid him so they could operate in Tamaulipas.

Both cases are being investigated by multiple agencies, including the DEA, IRS, FBI and Homeland Security Department. None had additional comment beyond a news release issued by Magidson's office.

13 comments:

  1. Build mansions in Mexico my friend if you build or by them in the U.S. they will seize everything and take all your money. The U.S. government doesn't mess around like mexico. They put you in prison for a joint for 25 years. Launder drug cartel money you'll be in prison until your dead

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  2. Build mansions in Mexico my friend if you build or by them in the U.S. they will seize everything and take all your money. The U.S. government doesn't mess around like mexico. They put you in prison for a joint for 25 years. Launder drug cartel money you'll be in prison until your dead


    SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

    yea the U.S Gov is holy..

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you make money in the U.S. or dollars and your not paying taxes on it, even if it's illegal, then the IRS will go after it. Uncle Sam wants his cut/quota. IRS is the enforcement wing of the Federal Reserve. The FED runs the U.S. economy and prints the money.

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  4. Mexico seizes property and assets as well..ask Pancho colorado, when he was found guilty Mexico slapped a lien on his property in ver and that of his son

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  5. They should look into all of this persons activities in the US. I bet you anything that if the man was crooked in Mexico with crooked government connections. Chances are real good that he would try to make similiar crooked deals with government connections north of the border.

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  6. I don't know why people get their panties in a bunch when we compare how shit gets done in the states. People are always trying to pull the US down to Mexico's level by saying shit when someone like 1:27.

    It's true, in the Usa, you better now owe the government a dime because they will go after you. HELL IRS was all up in my business for $150 dollar overage payment! Anyhow, long story short, mexico is in deep trouble and i wish their people the best, but I am proud to say loudly that I am usa and proud of it. Does my country's pride bother you? Well too fucking bad...

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  7. This is disgusting, we are capitalist!
    Why is this happening?
    The houses, the money, after all that hard work, GOD, is there anything holy or a least sacred, anymore?
    The lady of guadalupe on a strike or sompin'?
    --The US government IS NOT HOLY, they will just take tha money when they can't handle your hoarding it anymore, and i don't blame them one bit, it don't matter where it has been, the US government can and will launder any money they want to, and bless it...
    --if the catholic church can do it, the US government can, in this earthly kingdom of them, so how about that?

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  8. there you go EPN.. photographed again with nothing but escorias..

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  9. El Americano's H3 and a fraction of the CT's just anounced their pact/joint cartel, They'll be going by a new name and those that did not join because they are loyal to Nazario deserted the cartel

    ~Cali's very own~

    ReplyDelete
  10. "forfeiture for a home in Austin valued at $2.7 million and another in McAllen valued at $500,000 — properties the feds claim may have been purchased with illicit funds."
    The Feds say "may have been purchased with illicit funds".
    So they are not sure?
    I think Gomez has a case.

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  11. It is not about the money laundering, it is about it being not a lot, , and about being a lot for a small time money launderer who should have kept only 1or 10% of it...
    --If you do not launder money by the billions of dollars, in cahoots with a too big to fail BIG Bank, then it is all your fault when you get caught for being a pinchi poquito, a pinche gramero, si mentiendes berda'? Andele guey...

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  12. --Gomez has no case, he is getting charged of the lesser offenses in return for his cooperation on other cases, much meatier...

    ReplyDelete
  13. pura basura en la foto: Pena Nieto, Hernandez Flores, falto el Chapo. por eso estamos como estamos en Mexico?

    ReplyDelete

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