Honduran politician sentenced to three
years in U.S. for money laundering
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[December 16, 2017]
By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A member of a
prominent Honduran family who once served in the nation’s cabinet was
sentenced to three years in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty to
a U.S. money laundering charge.
Yani Rosenthal, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in
Manhattan federal court. He declined Koeltl's offer to speak in court
after the sentenced was announced.
Rosenthal pleaded guilty before Koeltl in July. At his plea hearing, he
admitted that, while serving as vice president of a meatpacking business
owned by the family’s Grupo Continental conglomerate, he “knowingly”
authorized purchases of cattle from a business that helped fund the
Cachiros, a drug trafficking ring.
Rosenthal further admitted that the meatpacking company exported beef
from those cattle to the United States.
As part of the plea, he agreed to pay a fine of $2.5 million.
Rosenthal was charged in October 2015 along with his father, Jaime
Rosenthal, a former vice president of Honduras, and his cousin, Yankel
Rosenthal, a former minister of investment under current Honduran
President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
Prosecutors have said that the men engaged in a multi-year scheme to
launder proceeds of narcotics trafficking and bribery offenses through
accounts located in the United States.
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Yani Rosenthal exits the Manhattan U.S. District Courthouse in New
York City, U.S., May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Yankel Rosenthal pleaded guilty to attempted money laundering in
Jaime Rosenthal remains in Honduras, though U.S. authorities are
seeking to have him extradited.
In addition to serving in the cabinet of former Honduran President
Manuel Zelaya in 2006 and 2007, Rosenthal was a member of the
nation’s legislature between 2010 and 2014, and ran for president in
2009 and 2013.
Other prominent Hondurans have faced drug-related charges in the
United States, including Fabio Lobo, the son of former Honduran
President Porfirio Lobo.
Fabio Lobo was sentenced to 24 years in prison in September after
pleading guilty to a U.S. charge of conspiring to import cocaine
into the United States. He had entered his plea in May 2016, about a
year after he was arrested in Haiti in a U.S. Drug Enforcement
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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