Justice Department Will Return Approximately $686,000 in Forfeited Corruption Proceeds to the Republic of Peru

View the Spanish translation of the press release here.

The Department of Justice is sharing approximately $686,000 in forfeited criminal proceeds to the Republic of Peru linked to the corruption and bribery of former Peruvian President Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique (Toledo) by Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht), a Brazil-based global construction conglomerate.

“This case is an important example of the international cooperation necessary to address corruption abroad where illicit proceeds are brought to the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department is committed to doing its part to recover and repatriate such corruption proceeds where appropriate.”    

In the civil forfeiture matter filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, United States v. $639,583.07, More Or Less, Formerly On Deposit In Bank Of America Account Number XXXXXXXX1655, With A Beneficiary Identified As The Havenell Trust, And All Funds Traceable Thereto, No. CV 19-5652, and a related case, the United States alleged that Toledo, who was the president of Peru from approximately 2001 to 2006, solicited millions in bribery payments from Odebrecht while he was in public office in connection with government contracts awarded for construction of the Peru-Brazil Southern Interoceanic Highway (Southern Interoceanic Highway), a Peruvian government infrastructure project.  Odebrecht subsequently made bribery payments to Toledo through accounts maintained by Toledo’s co-conspirators. Ultimately, approximately $1.2 million of the bribery payments were used by Toledo and his family to purchase real estate in Maryland in 2007 through a scheme designed to hide Toledo’s ownership of the funds and their connection to Odebrecht. The forfeited assets represent the proceeds from the sale of the Maryland real estate, which were further laundered through a trust and bank account controlled by Toledo. 

The FBI investigated the cases leading to the U.S. forfeiture of the assets being returned to the Republic of Peru and served as the seizing agency. Trial Attorney Barbara Levy of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Mantell for the Eastern District of New York’s Civil Division handled the civil forfeiture cases. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance with the cases.

In support of the U.S. forfeiture actions, the Peruvian government provided extensive and wide-ranging assistance. Most notably, the documentary evidence provided by the Peruvian government provided the evidence necessary to seize assets located in the United States and substantially contributed to the timely success of the U.S. forfeiture actions. 

“Civil forfeiture serves a critical role in depriving criminals of their ill-gotten gains, regardless of their status, and despite their efforts to conceal the proceeds of their offenses committed abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “This office and the department will continue to work with their law enforcement partners around the world to recover and return illicit payments that corrupt overseas officials attempt to hide in the United States.”

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption through criminal and civil forfeiture and, where appropriate, to use those recovered assets to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office. In 2015, the FBI formed International Corruption Squads across the country to address national and international implications of foreign corruption. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to [email protected] (link sends email) or https://tips.fbi.gov/.

Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-will-return-approximately-686000-forfeited-corruption-proceeds-republic

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