Two men have been charged in the United States for their role in a bribery and laundering scheme to make illegal profits from a public police pension scheme (ISSPOL) in Ecuador
John Luzuriaga Aguinaga and Jorge Cherrez Miño– both Ecuadorian citizens – were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering at a Florida court, the Department of Justice announced this week.
Prosecutors allege between 2014 and 2020 Cherrez, an investment adviser, paid more than $2.6 million in bribes to ISSPOl officials, including nearly $1.4 million to Luzuriaga, who was the Risk Director at ISSPOL at the time. The bribes were allegedly paid to retain investment business from the pension scheme and resulted in Cherrez obtaining $65 million in profits from the scheme.
According to the complaint, Cherrez received payments from the ISSPOL investment business in an account in the United States, used Florida-based companies and bank accounts to pay the bribes, and took “acts in furtherance” of the bribery scheme while in the Southern District of Florida.
Further, to conceal and promote the bribery scheme, Cherrez and Luzuriaga allegedly laundered the corrupt proceeds through Florida-based companies and bank accounts, including numerous U.S. investment fund companies incorporated in Florida with Cherrez as an officer or director.
Luzuriaga appeared in court on Monday and an arrest warrant has been issued for Cherrez.