Photo: Former President Guatemala: Alfonso Portillo
DEA officials today announced the extradition of Alfonso Portillo, the former President of Guatemala, who is charged with conspiring to launder millions of dollars he embezzled from the Government of Guatemala through bank accounts located in the United States.
Portillo arrived in New York last Friday after fighting his extradition for three years. He is alleged to have used million of dollars intended for Guatemala for his own use and laundered those funds in U.S. banks
Portillo faces a U.S. District judge today.
Portillo was President of Guatemala from 2000 – 2004 where the U.S. government alleges he misappropriated public money by depositing checks into his bank accounts that were given to the country by foreign governments to benefit the people of Guatemala. He is also alleged to have stolen money nearly $4 Million from the Defense Ministry to finance real estate deals. In addition, Portillo is alleged to have taken public money to prop up failing banks owned by political supporters. Most of his U.S. bank accounts were held in Miami, Florida.
The 61-year-old faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines if convicted of money laundering.