Anti-Corruption Chief of Columbia Charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money

Luis Gustavo Moreno Rivera, the Chief of Anti-Corruption in Colombia, and Leonardo Luis Pinilla Gomez, an attorney in Colombia, were arrested on the basis of a criminal complaint filed in a federal Miami court for allegedly conspiring to launder money in relation to a bribery scheme.

Moreno and Pinilla tried to obtain thousands of dollars in bribes from former governor of Colombia’s Cordoba region, Alejandro Lyons, who was already under an investigation for corrupt practices.

Nestor Martinez, Colombia’s chief prosecutor, exclaimed indignation for Moreno’s actions which damage the “integrity” of Colombia’s institutions.

The DEA collected surveillance evidence of meetings and conversations between Pinilla and Lyons that took place in public or nondescript places in Miami, where Lyons has been living since April.  Ironically, one of the meetings occurred on the same day that Moreno was scheduled to give an anti-corruption presentation for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  In this meeting, Pinilla expresses Moreno’s ability to use his position to obstruct the corruption investigation Lyons was already involved with in exchange for a fee.

Although Moreno was reluctant to admit to the accusations, Pinilla told Lyons that Moreno wanted $20,000 along with $132,000 for obstructing the investigation.  After an exchange of $10,000 the DEA used for investigative purposes, Moreno and Pinilla were arrested.

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