On January 27, 2021, Felipe Moncaleano Botero was sentenced in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to six years in prison, after pleading guilty in June 2020 to one count of conspiracy to launder money. Moncaleano was also fined $50,000, and may be subject to removal from the United States upon completion of his sentence.
Moncaleano, a Colombian national, served as CEO of the Colombia-based subsidiary of a UK reinsurance brokerage firm. According to Moncaleano’s factual proffer, he conspired with others to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Ecuadorian government officials in order to secure insurance contracts with Seguros Sucre S.A., the state-owned insurance company of Ecuador. The bribery and money laundering scheme involved the transfer of a portion of the insurance commission payments received by an intermediary back to Ecuadorian government officials; some of the laundered commissions reached the officials’ Swiss bank accounts through US bank accounts held by a Cayman Islands company.
Jose Vicente Gomez Aviles, the co-owner of the Panama-based intermediary company through which the commission payments were transferred, pleaded guilty in June 2020 to conspiracy to launder money. Juan Ribas Domenech, former chairman of Seguros Sucre and an alleged recipient of the bribes, pleaded guilty in September 2020 to one count of conspiracy to launder money. Another defendant, Roberto Heinert, has also been charged in connection with the scheme.