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Former Ecuadorian government official sentenced to prison for role in bribery and money laundering scheme

WASHINGTON, USA – An Ecuadorian and Italian national was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison for his role in a scheme to launder bribes paid to him in exchange for helping three UK reinsurance companies obtain and retain reinsurance business from Ecuador’s public surety company.

Juan Ribas Domenech, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering on September 16, 2020. According to court documents, between 2013 and 2017, Ribas was the chairman of Seguros Sucre, Ecuador’s state-owned and controlled surety company and an advisor to the then-president of Ecuador. In those capacities, Ribas had authority over the awarding of Seguros Sucre business.

During that time, Ribas accepted approximately $5,036,465 in bribes from his co-conspirators in exchange for using his official position to allow three UK-based reinsurance brokers to obtain and retain contracts with Seguros Sucre. These bribe payments were paid through various intermediaries, including two reinsurance introducer companies. A portion of the bribes were laundered through the United States.

Acting assistant attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Washington, DC Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, DC Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement.

IRS-CI’s and HSI’s Washington, DC offices, jointly under the auspices of the Global Illicit Financial Team, and the FBI’s Miami International Corruption Squad investigated the case.

Trial attorneys Katherine Raut, La’Nese Clarke, and Alexander Kramer of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.



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