"Guatemala’s ex-president charged in US" by Associated Press | January 26, 2010
NEW YORK - Alfonso Portillo, the fugitive former president of Guatemala, was charged in the United States yesterday with using foreign banks to launder millions of dollars plundered from charity and government coffers.
So why did they decide to charge this guy?
Portillo, 58, is accused of “converting the office of the Guatemalan presidency into his personal ATM,’’ US Attorney Preet Bharara of New York said in a statement. The disgraced politician was already facing embezzlement charges in his own country. Authorities there declared him a fugitive yesterday after dozens of soldiers and police officers raided five of his properties but did not find him....
Portillo’s lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, said his client won’t turn himself in.... An indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan alleges the four-year scheme began in 2000, when Portillo began embezzling $1.5 million in donations from Taiwan meant to buy school library books. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
So why did the U.S. get involved? WTF?
"Guatemala arrests ex-leader wanted in US" by Associated Press | January 27, 2010
GUATEMALA CITY - Police captured fugitive former president Alfonso Portillo in northern Guatemala yesterday, a day after US prosecutors indicted him on charges of laundering money stolen from foreign donations meant to buy children’s books.
Scum! All scum!
Dozens of agents raided a ranch in Izabal Province to execute the arrest, Attorney General Amilcar Velasquez said.
So they really knew where he was, huh?An indictment unsealed Monday in federal court in New York accused Portillo of endorsing checks drawn from a New York bank and depositing them in a Miami account; the money then was transferred to a Paris account in the name of his former wife and daughter....
Hey, he's a politician, right?
In 2001, prosecutors say, Portillo conspired with two members of the Guatemalan military - an unnamed colonel in charge of his security detail and an intelligence officer - to embezzle millions of dollars from the government.
Some of the money allegedly was used to buy expensive cars and watches.
Meanwhile, Guatemala's unmentioned people suffer in poverty.
Portillo, 58, served as president from 2000 to 2004 before fleeing to Mexico. He got a work visa and began working as a financial adviser for a construction materials company there, but was extradited to Guatemala in 2008. The US charges carry a possible prison sentence of 20 years.