White-Collar Crime

Trial begins for lawyer accused of conspiring to launder up to $600M for Mexican drug cartel

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A prominent Texas lawyer met with the ex-wife of a former president of Mexico and discussed a scheme in which he would launder as much as $600 million for a drug cartel, a federal prosecutor said Monday as the case went to trial in El Paso.

But a lawyer for the accused attorney, Marco Antonio Delgado, said his client discussed energy and international law with Lilian De La Concha at the Mexico City meeting, not drug money, reports the Associated Press. “At no time the subject of drug money was mentioned,” said defense lawyer Ray Velarde.

Delgado, who is accused of participating in a conspiracy to launder drug money during 2007 and 2008, was investigated by the feds after they seized $1 million in Atlanta from Victor Pimentel. Now a star witness for the prosecution, Pimental told authorities that he, Delgado and others agreed to launder money for the Milenio Cartel. Largely disbanded at the present time, it was associated with the Sinaloa Cartel and headquartered in Colima, a Mexican state, the AP explains.

A former trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, Delgado was arrested last year at an El Paso restaurant.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Texas Lawyer Indicted and Jailed re Claimed Role in Alleged Mexican Drug Money-Laundering Conspiracy”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Charged with Laundering Drug Cartel Money Is Denied Bail; Feds Call Him a Flight Risk”

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