U.S. court sentences Mexican ex-governor to nine years for money laundering

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday sentenced a former Mexican governor to nine years in prison for accepting at least $3.5 million in illegal bribe money and using it to fraudulently purchase property in the United States.

According to a court filing, Tomas Yarrington, a former governor of northern Tamaulipas state, was sentenced to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release.

The 66-year-old had pleaded guilty in March 2021, three years after he was extradited to the United States from Italy while traveling under an assumed name and false passport, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"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 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."

Hamdani's office said Yarrington had used the bribe money, obtained when he was governor between 1999 and 2005, in the United States by purchasing beachfront condominiums, large estates, commercial developments, airplanes and luxury vehicles.

According to the filing, several other charges including bank fraud and conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana into the United States were dismissed. A court summary suggested Yarrington may have laundered as much as $9.5 million.

(Reporting by Sarah Morland; Editing by David Gregorio)