US financial adviser José Larrea pleaded guilty today in a court in Miami to participate in a money laundering and bribery scheme for ex-employees of the Ecuadorian state oil company, the South Florida District Attorney’s office announced today.
Larrea, 40, admitted his guilt before Judge Marcia Cooke on a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering and will be sentenced next November 14.
Two other former Petroecuador officials, who received bribe payments, and an oil services contractor had already declared themselves guilty of participating in the same international plot to facilitate the crime, the prosecution said.
Larrea admitted “conspiring to hide the product of an illegal scheme to pay bribes to PetroEcuador officials,” the prosecution said.
He said he used his own bank account in the United States to transfer more than one million dollars to other accounts “to hide a bribe scheme” that involved the contractor who made payments to PetroEcuador officials to retain existing contracts and obtain new business.
Larrea also admitted that he created false documents on behalf of the oil service contractor.
Larrea was indicted last April along with the Ecuadorian-American Frank Roberto Chatburn Ripalda of rape and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), conspiracy to commit money laundering and two more money laundering charges.
Chatburn declared himself “not guilty” and his trial is scheduled for October 15. (I)