Former Mexican presidential candidate gets jailed in the US
The former governor of Tamaulipas, Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, is charged with spending $3.5 million in bribes to purchase real estate in the US.
After being charged with paying millions of dollars in bribes for real estate acquisitions in the United States, the former Mexican presidential contender was given a nine-year prison sentence.
The conviction was given to Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, 66, the former governor of Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico, on Wednesday in a US District Court for southern Texas.
The former governor was also told by Judge Rolando Olvera to give up a condo he bought in the Texas seaside community of Port Isabel. He had faced a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.
Yarrington Ruvalcaba admitted to US investigators that he accepted bribes in exchange for business contracts in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas when he entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in March 2021.
The decision on Wednesday was praised for “bringing a corrupt politician to justice,” according to state prosecutor Alamdar Hamdani.
“Even if you are the 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,” Hamdani stated in a press release published by the US Attorney’s Office.
With reference to his term as governor, which lasted from 1999 to 2005, Yarrington Ruvalcaba is accused of taking $3.5 million in bribes from people and businesses looking to do business in his state.
Prosecutors claim that this money was later transferred into the US through the purchase of opulent goods like automobiles, planes, estates and beachfront apartments.
In 2012, the authorities took possession of one of these luxurious homes in the Texas vacation destination of South Padre Island. Its value was put at $640,000.
The former governor is also charged with utilizing nominee buyers, sometimes known as straw men, to conceal his involvement in the acquisitions.
Yarrington Ruvalcaba became a presidential candidate in 2005 as a former member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), historically one of the nation’s most powerful political parties.
In April 2017, while on vacation in Italy, he was detained after being charged in May 2013. His use of a false name and passport is allegedly claimed by the prosecution. The next year, the Italian government gave its approval for his extradition to the US.
Yarrington Ruvalcaba will likely face “removal proceedings” to Mexico, where he is also under investigation, according to a statement released by US authorities on Wednesday.
One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations, the Gulf Cartel, is headquartered in the state of Tamaulipas.
Four Americans were recently taken hostage by armed men after crossing the border from Brownsville, Texas, into Matamoros, Tamaulipas. In the crossfire, a Mexican woman was also killed.
At a wooden hut on the outskirts of the city, police discovered three kidnapping victims: one alive, one injured, and two dead.
In an apology for breaking its promise to “protect the lives and wellness of the innocent,” the Scorpions chapter of the Gulf Cartel admitted responsibility for the kidnapping last Thursday.
According to local media, the cartel dropped off the five accountable individuals with their hands tied on the street before delivering them to the authorities.