Criminal Justice

Former lawyer on the lam for 27 years returns to Miami federal court

A former Miami lawyer who was living in a high-rise beachfront condo in Cancun is back in a federal courtroom in Florida where he was convicted more than 27 years ago.

Manuel Lopez-Castro never showed up in early 1986 to begin serving a 27-year prison sentence for money laundering and racketeering, the Miami Herald reports. He was captured in Mexico on Tuesday.

Lopez-Castro was convicted for helping a marijuana smuggler buy a majority interest in the Sunshine State Bank. Authorities believe the ex-lawyer settled in Mexico after spending time in several countries. He had obtained a fraudulent Mexican birth certificate and dropped “Castro” from his name.

Lopez-Castro had told Mexican immigration agents that he was in sales and “barely getting by,” despite his luxury address, the story says.

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