October 20, 2022

Former Bolivian official pleads guilty to money laundering conspiracy

On October 20, 2022, Arturo Carlos Murillo Prijic pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to money laundering conspiracy for his involvement in a bribery scheme in Bolivia.

According to court documents, Murillo Prijic — who served as head of Bolivia’s Ministry of Government from 2019 to 2020 — assisted a Florida-based company to obtain a $5.6 million contract to supply the Bolivian Ministry of Defense with tear gas and other non-lethal equipment.  In return, Murillo Prijic and his co-conspirators agreed that Murillo Prijic would receive kickbacks from the proceeds of the contract.  In all, Murillo Prijic received at least $532,000 in bribe payments, including funds that he conspired to launder through U.S bank accounts.

Murillo Prijic’s guilty plea follows the September 2021 guilty pleas of co-conspirators Sergio Rodrigo Mendez Mendizabal and Luis Berkman, who pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy, and Bryan Berkman and Philip Lichtenfeld, who pleaded guilty to FCPA conspiracy.  All four men have been sentenced to prison terms between 26 and 42 months.  A sentencing date for Murillo Prijic has not yet been set.

DOJ press release | Factual proffer | Plea agreement