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Former Comptroller General of Ecuador convicted for $10M in Miami

A cement mixer pours money

A Miami federal jury has found the former Comptroller General of Ecuador guilty of a million-dollar money laundering and bribery scheme.

Carlos Ramon Polit Faggioni, 73, was involved in a series of illegal activities between 2010 and 2015, a period when he was entrusted with safeguarding his country’s public funds.

Former comptroller found guilty

In his high-profile capacity as the Comptroller of Ecuador, he was supposed to be the shield the country depended on to root out industrial espionage.

Instead, he benefited from ill-gotten gains from private firms and backhanded bribes, especially from the Brazilian-based construction company Odebrecht S.A.

Polit would pocket a shocking $10 million in brown envelopes and bribes to keep scrutiny off the backs of the Odebrecht.

Odebrecht S.A. pleaded guilty to the District of New York in 2016 across a host of charges that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The company conceeded that it had swindled its way to paying “nearly $800 million in bribes to public officials in 12 countries, including Ecuador,” according to the Justice Department’s release.

Polit faces a massive twenty years behind bars for each count of money laundering aimed at him. He is facing one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of concealing money laundering. This charge alone would see Polit behind bars for a maximum of eighty years if he is given the maximum penalty sentence for the crimes.

These are not the only charges aimed at the Ecuadorian. He also faces two ten-year maximum penalties for both counts of transactions in criminally derived property, taking his sentence to a possible century of containment in a penal facility.

Polit was further found to have diluted his illegally obtained and money-laundered funds to invest in real estate in Florida. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami’s Special Agent Anthony Salisbury said, “This conviction shows that despite your wealth, title, or influence, nobody is above the law.”

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida said of the charges levied at Polit “This verdict is a reminder of our office’s firm commitment to investigating and prosecuting corrupt foreign officials who bring their criminally obtained funds to South Florida to buy real estate.”

His sentencing has not been set, and the federal district court judge will have to consider his ability to serve a fitting penalty in line with sentencing guidelines.

Image: Ideogram.


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