Son of former president of Panama pleads guilty to money laundering in Odebrecht case

Luis Enrique Martinelli, son of the former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, pleaded guilty before a New York court to conspiracy to launder money for his role in the corruption case of the Brazilian construction company Odebrechtannounced the prosecution.

At the hearing, he admitted that he had conspired with his brother Ricardo and others to “open bank accounts in tax havens on behalf of shell companies to receive and hide more than $ 28 million in bribes“from Odebrecht, the court assured.

The main objective was “to benefit a close relative, a high-ranking official in Panama.”

Martinelli acknowledged that part of those funds were used to buy a yacht and real estate in the United States.

The sentence is scheduled for the May 20, 2022.

The guilty plea will shorten the sentence of the son of the former Panamanian president.

Luis Enrique Martinelli, 39, was extradited to the United States on November 15.

He is accused of receiving funds from Odeberechet together with his brother Ricardo Alberto (42), who remains in Guatemala waiting to be extradited to New York.

Some of that money passed through US accounts before ending up in others, mainly in Switzerland.

The Martinelli brothers were detained on July 6, 2020 at Guatemala’s international airport when they tried to travel to Panama.

Luis Enrique’s extradition was approved by a Guatemalan court last May and that of his brother in early November.

Panama also claims them for a corruption scandal also related to bribes in exchange for works, known as “Blue Apple”.

On December 21, 2016, Odebrecht pleaded guilty in the federal court of Brooklyn to having distributed more than 700 million dollars in bribes to Latin American leaders, public officials and political parties to obtain and retain infrastructure works.

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