November 24, 2020

USA v. Funds at FirstCaribbean International Bank: Forfeiture Complaint

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Attorney Drug CartelForfeiture Complaint in USA v. Funds at FirstCaribbean International Bank associated with Marco Delgado at the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

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US seeks $2.5 million in lawyer’s laundering case

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA From Times-Standard

DelgadoEL PASO, Texas—Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $2.5 million in cash from a former Carnegie Mellon University trustee accused of conspiring to launder more than half a billion dollars for a drug cartel.

An indictment filed Wednesday in Texas alleges that El Paso lawyer and philanthropist Marco Delgado defrauded millions from a firm doing business with a Mexican utility and used that money to underwrite a lavish lifestyle.

According to the indictment, Delgado wired $200,000 to Pittsburgh in July, 2010. Carnegie Mellon is in Pittsburgh, but it’s not clear from the indictment if the money was donated to the university. The school says only that it is cooperating with authorities.

Delgado could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Authorities also have requested forfeiture of $2.5 million in cash, a house and furniture in El Paso and a New Mexico apartment, as well as two vehicles.

Delgado is charged with 15 money laundering and two wire fraud counts. The indictment returned in El Paso alleges Delgado fraudulently instructed a bank in Mexico to move $32 million dollars from his client’s Mexican account to an account he controlled in the Turks and Caicos islands. The indictment says the El Paso lawyer then diverted part of that money to Texas, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

Calls to Delgado’s attorney went unreturned Thursday.

Delgado obtained a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon in 1990 and in 2003 and donated $250,000 to create a scholarship named after him to help Hispanic students. It’s not clear from the indictment if that money came from the alleged scheme.

Delgado was also a member of several charities and a regular contributor to the El Paso symphony orchestra.

Delgado faces a separate indictment accusing him of conspiring to launder more than $600 million for a Mexican drug cartel. He was arrested in November and charged with conspiring to launder drug profits from July 2007 through December 2008.

The investigation into Delgado started in September 2007 after a $1 million seizure was made in Atlanta. The man carrying the money told investigators that he, Delgado and other men had met in Mexico and agreed to transport money for the Milenio Cartel, a drug-trafficking organization based in the Mexican state of Colima.

According to U.S. authorities, Delgado admitted to U.S. agents that he had been contacted by people in Mexico about slowing down extradition processes of alleged cartel members and about moving up to $600 million from the U.S. to Mexico. He told the agents the million dollars seized was “a trial run” to see if it was possible, according to the U.S. government.

Delgado has maintained his innocence.

Feds Charge Prominent Texas Lawyer With Laundering Drug Money For Mexican Cartel

Saul Goodman, is that you?

Apparently, you don’t have to be a fictional lawyer on the AMC series Breaking Bad in order to launder drug money for the Mexican cartels.

Homeland Security has arrested Marco Antonio Delgado, a 46-year-old lawyer from El Paso, TX, for allegedly laundering more than $600 million for the Milenio drug cartel or Cártel de los Valencia in an 18-month period between July 2007 and December 2008 as reported by Lorena Figueroa for the El Paso Times.  Delgado’s defense attorney, José Montes Jr.,”confirmed that his client worked at Delgado & Associates, P.C.”:

According to its website, the law firm has offices in Texas; Calgary, Canada; Distrito Federal, México; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos islands.  It describes itself as a “boutique law firm uniquely designed and committed to provide its clients with unparalleled legal services in the areas of energy regulation (power and gas), alternative energy, international business, international energy, and international transaction planning.”

Delgado apparently was the founder of the law firm but “took a leave of absence at the beginning of 2012 to join Enrique Pena Nieto’s successful campaign for president of Mexico and is assisting as a member of Nieto’s transition team” as reported by Debrah Erdley for the Tribune-Review.

It’s funny because organized crime cannot operate without crooked lawyers but it’s a verboten topic in polite society and political circles.

Apparently, the lawyer also has a philanthropic side, and in 1990 he founded the Marco Delgado Fellowship for the Advancement of Hispanics in Public Policy and Management at H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon Univsersity where he once served as a trustee as reported by KTSM.

Delgado’s supposed association with Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto from the historically corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) may raise an eyebrow within the political class.

The PRI controlled Mexican politics for decades until the election six years ago of President Felipe Calderon from Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) who launched a military campaign against the drug cartels, and last July voters swept Pena Nieto and the PRI back into power in an election which some saw as a capitulation to the narcos.

Last August Spanish police busted four suspected Sinaloa traffickers including Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela who apparently maintained a Facebook page in his name which “appears to show a photograph of him alongside Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto.”

11/09/12 Update:  A spokesman for Nieto insists that Delgado has no association with the President-elect as reported by Juan Carlos Llorca for The Huffington Post:  “Clearly this person is not part of the team. We don’t know him.”

 

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