Colombian Corruption Watchdog Charged In Miami For Money Laundering

MIAMI, FL — Colombia’s National Director of Anti-Corruption was himself charged with a corruption-related offense on Tuesday in Miami. U.S. prosecutors unsealed charges that accuse Luis Gustavo Moreno Rivera with laundering money with the intent to promote foreign bribery.

The 35-year-old official was arrested in Colombia under an Interpol Red Notice.

Arrested with Rivera was 31-year-old Leonardo Luis Pinilla Gomez, an attorney practicing in Colombia. Both men were charged with one count of conspiracy to launder money to promote foreign bribery.

The charges were announced on Tuesday by Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin G. Greenberg and Special Agent in Charge Adolcphus P. Wright of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division.

U.S. officials said that the Attorney General of Colombia and the Cuerpo Tecnico de Investigacion cooperated in the investigation.

“According to the criminal complaint, beginning in November 2016, a cooperating source of information (CS) was approached by Moreno and Pinilla who attempted to entice a bribe from the CS,” explained U.S. prosecutors. “Specifically, in exchange for 100 million Colombian pesos, Moreno and Pinilla offered to give the CS copies of sworn statements taken from cooperators who had testified against the CS.”

Federal officials said that Moreno and Pinilla traveled to Miami earlier this month and met with the CS who, under the direction of the DEA, provided Moreno and Pinilla with a $10,000 deposit of the bribe money.

“Recorded conversations revealed that Moreno and Pinilla discussed Moreno’s ability to control the investigation into the CS and that Moreno could inundate his prosecutors with work so that they would be unable to focus on the CS’s investigation,” according to federal officials, who said Moreno and Pinilla had been asking for a 400 million Colombian peso payment with an additional $30,000 to be paid prior to Moreno’s leaving the United States.

“The criminal complaint further alleges that several of the $100 bills from the $10,000 paid to Moreno and Pinilla were found on Moreno and his family as they boarded their flight back to Bogota from Miami,” Federal officials added.

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