Former Mexican governor gets 9 years for using bribes to buy luxury properties in U.S.

Former Mexican governor Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba has been sentenced to nine years in prison for accepting over $3.5 million in illegal bribes that he used to fraudulently purchase property in the U.S., the U.S. Attorney’s office announced in a news release

A district judged sentenced Yarrington, the former governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and a one-time candidate for president, to 108 months in prison. The 66-year-old, who is not a U.S. citizen, is expected to be deported following his imprisonment, according to prosecutors. 

During his time as governor from 1999 to 2005, Yarrington accepted bribes from individuals and private companies in Mexico to do business with the state of Tamaulipas, prosecutors said. 

Yarrington used front men to purchase property and luxury goods in the United States to hide Yarrington’s ownership and the illegal bribery money used to purchase them. Among the things he bought were “beachfront condominiums, large estates, commercial developments, airplanes and luxury vehicles,” prosecutors said. 

The disgraced politician was captured by authorities in April 2017 in Italy while he was traveling under a fake identity and fake passport, prosecutors said. Yarrington was eventually extradited to the U.S. in April 2018, where he will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, according to prosecutors. 

During his sentencing the court said Yarrington violated his oath to office, weakening Mexico and promoting criminal activity. 

“Even if you are governor of a Mexican state, we will not stand idly by when you use your position to wrongfully fill your pockets and violate the laws of the United States.” U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said in a statement. “Today’s prison sentence for Yarrington concludes a multi-year, multi-agency international investigation spanning two continents concluding in bringing a corrupt politician to justice.”

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