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U.S. prosecutors want ex-Guatemala president jailed for bribery

Alfonso Portillo, former president of Guatemala, courtesy of Diario de Centero America, via YouTubeU.S. prosecutors asked a federal judge Monday to sentence former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to almost six years in jail following Portillo’s admission to taking $2.5 million in bribes from Taiwan.

Portillo’s lawyers asked the judge to restrict the sentence to time served, pointing to the years he spent in U.S. and Guatemalan prisons since his arrest in early 2010.

Prosecutors said Portillo may be entitled to credit for at least some prison time. But they still want a term of up to five years, 11 months, Reuters reported.

Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson in New York has been scheduled for May 22.

Portillo served as president of Guatemala from 2000 to 2004. He was extradited to the United States last year after Guatemalan courts cleared him on local embezzlement charges.

He pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in March. He admitted taking $2.5 million from Taiwan in exchange for continued diplomatic recognition.

U.S. prosecutors said Portillo accepted the first of the bribe payments four days before officially taking office in Guatemala. 


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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