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Media 052316 El Financiero

Monday, May 23, 2016

U.S. is Investigating Mexican Governor for Money Laundering

Georgina Morett (El Financiero)

The United States Department of the Treasury and the FBI have files open on possible acts of corruption by the governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, and the gubernatorial candidate of the PAN-PRD alliance, José Antonio Estefan Garfias, for the irregular flow of cash they handled through US banks.

As well, they have issued alerts for the US tax office to track properties of those mentioned.

According to confidential cables obtained by El Financiero, the United States Department of the Treasury has issued several notices about possible corrupt acts by these persons, and even Jorge Castillo Díaz, a Cué operator in Mexico who has amassed a fortune of 7.4 billion pesos [US$403+ million], is being investigated for money laundering.

The cables, from the United States Embassy, show a story that began on April 15, 2015 when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of that country sent an alert warning of irregular money operations by Castillo Díaz in US banks, where his deposits had increased significantly.

Examples of this are the accounts of Castillo, who in September 2015 had a deposit balance of US$14.38 million, and in December of the same year said balance had increased to US$24.43 million.

Later, in a May 8, 2015 cable, it is reported that a corruption file [sic] remains open within the US Treasury Department and the FBI against the current governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué.

This due to his relationships with Díaz Castillo, Estefan Garfias and Anselmo Ortiz García (a now deceased former congressman), the three pointed to earlier due to the irregular flow of cash in US banks.

In [his] Broadway Bank statements of November 13, 2015, obtained by El Financiero, Estefan managed to have US$27.79 million in his account.

This is an example of the cash flows referred to in the confidential US documents.

On May 22, another of these memoranda addressed to the US Departments of State and Justice, as well as the FBI, noted that it is very important to follow-up on the corruption investigations against Castillo. It refers to an ongoing investigation that confirms the money comes from corrupt practices, one of the main ones being money laundering. It states that the FBI has been instructed to search and locate properties of Cué's operator in the US.

Subsequently, on June 8, a cable addressed to [US] Ambassador Anthony Wayne specifically refers to money laundering by Jorge Castillo Díaz.

And on September 24 it was shown that Mexico's PGR [Attorney General of the Republic] had already been alerted to these investigations being carried out by the US State Department, and they reaffirmed their commitment to pursue cases of corruption. 

Also see: "Operador de Cué amasa fortuna de 7 mil mdp en sólo cuatro años," El Financiero, May 16, 2016, Mexico City

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"EU alertó sobre lavado y vinculó a Cué, Estefan y 'Coco' desde 2015," El Financiero, May 17, 2016, Mexico City (includes excerpts from mentioned cables); translation MexiData.info

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