Shameful news about the head of anti-corruption being found guilty for extortion… another case where high level governmental officers under current ochlocracy are guilty. Follows the official report from the FBI, report from the Miami Herald and link to El Deber’s latest news, with a transcription of the talk between Mario Fabricio Ormachea Aliaga, the extortionist and Humberto Roca, Aerosur owner, the victim:
Bolivian Police Officer Convicted on Extortion Charges
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce yesterday’s conviction of Mario Fabricio Ormachea Aliaga, 43, of La Paz, Bolivia. After a three-day jury trial in Ft. Lauderdale before U.S. District Judge Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., Ormachea was convicted of traveling to the United States with the intent to commit extortion and attempted extortion.
At trial, the evidence showed that Ormachea, the national chief of the Bolivian Police’s Anti-Corruption Department, traveled to the United States to extort Humberto Roca, a Bolivian citizen and political exile who was living in the United States.
Mr. Roca was a successful and prominent Bolivian businessman who had run the country’s largest private airline, Aerosur. After Mr. Roca spoke out against the Bolivian government, the Bolivian government charged him and members of his family with various crimes against the State. Ormachea flew to the United States to meet with Mr. Roca. During his meetings with Mr. Roca, Ormachea told Mr. Roca that he was in charge of several of the criminal cases against him, that he decided what the criminal investigations showed and what they did not show, and that he provided the components necessary for the Bolivian government to make decisions on Mr. Roca’s cases. Ormachea then told Mr. Roca that he believed him to be innocent of any crimes but that it would cost him $30,000 to have Ormachea shift the investigations to the guilty parties.
Ormachea faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison, plus fines and restitution. Ormachea will be sentenced in May by U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John R. Byrne and Jon Juenger.
Jury convicts Bolivia’s anti-corruption chief of extortion at Fort Lauderdale trial
A federal jury on Wednesday found Bolivia’s anti-corruption chief guilty of traveling to Miami to extort a rich Bolivian businessman for $30,000 in exchange for making trumped-up charges against him go away back home.
The 12-person jury in Fort Lauderdale federal court took just over an hour to convict Bolivian National Police Col. Mario Fabricio Ormachea Aliaga on two counts of extortion. Ormachea, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in August, faces up to 25 years in prison at his May 23 sentencing before U.S. District Judge Jose A. Gonzalez Jr.
Ormachea’s wealthy target was Humberto Roca, former owner of Aerosur Airlines, who fled Bolivia for the United States in 2011 after he was charged with “illegal enrichment” in his native country. During an FBI sting operation, Roca paid $5,000 in cash to Ormachea — a transaction that was videotaped on Aug. 31 by federal agents in the converted garage of Roca’s Miami Lakes home.
“He took the money,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Juenger told the jury during closing arguments of Ormachea’s three-day extortion trial. “You saw him count the money.”
Juenger said the anti-corruption chief used his power to threaten an innocent man for money: “That is a frightening, diabolical thing to do to somebody.”
During closing arguments, a defense attorney told jurors that the prosecutors presented their case backwards: Assistant federal public defender Chantel Doakes said Roca paid Ormachea to obtain “inside information” about the “illegal-enrichment” charges filed against him in Bolivia.
Doakes said her client did not commit extortion in the United States because Ormachea was paid “money in exchange for [his] influence in Bolivia.”
“They have failed to prove to you that Mr. Ormachea committed any of the crimes charged in the indictment,” she told the jurors. “We’re here because of a wealthy, corrupt businessman who wanted to get back at the Bolivian government.”
Prosecutor John Byrne told jurors that Ormachea’s attorney distorted the government’s case. “It’s about a man who used his position of power to get someone to give him money,” he argued. “It’s extortion.”
After Roca initially gave Ormachea $5,000 as a down payment toward the extortion demand, the colonel acknowledged meeting with Roca on two occasions last August, but denied trying to extort him, according to an FBI affidavit filed with the charges. Ormachea, who did not testify at his trial, told FBI agents that he had not traveled to Miami in his official role.
In a lawsuit filed in Miami, Roca accused senior Bolivian government officials, including President Evo Morales, of directing a campaign of political persecution against him — including seizing his company, Aerosur, which competed with Bolivia’s nationally owned airline.
On Monday, Roca testified that he obtained political asylum in 2012 after he and other members of his family fled Bolivia and settled in Miami Lakes the previous year. Roca testified that he was charged in Bolivia with taking “money that belonged to the state.”
He said Ormachea threatened that if he did not pay the bribes, the senior Bolivian police officer would pursue the illegal-enrichment charges against him and seek his extradition to Bolivia.
He testified that Ormachea contacted him by telephone to say he was coming to Miami to meet him last August. Roca’s Miami attorney Michael Diaz Jr. instructed him to contact the FBI about the extortion attempt.
The FBI directed him to play an undercover role in the sting operation, which played out in Roca’s Miami Lakes home over two days.
After the federal jury returned the pair of guilty verdicts Wednesday, Ormachea’s mother shouted at Roca’s relatives gathered outside the courtroom. The mother said that Roca had “ruined” her son’s life.
El Nuevo Herald staff writer Mayra Quiroz contributed to this report.
EL DEBER HAD ACCESS TO A U.S. declassified FILE LAWSUIT
FBI Video Ormachea involving five authorities
Two ‘Hidden Camera’ recordings, the former head of the Bolivian anti-corruption police complicates the government in six cases. Vice-minister Perez disqualifies the word of the ‘processed’.
“…An unusual 63 minute dialogue was recorded when Ormachea, who offered to ‘help’ the entrepreneur [Roca] in his trials in Bolivia in exchange for $30,000 dollars, ended up involving the President Evo Morales, Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, the Minister Juan Ramón Quintana, Minister Ruben Saavedra and Vice-minister Jorge Pérez in cases like terrorism I and II, PAPELBOL and that of the Barges in addition to the two trials against Roca.”
Bolivian governmental corruption has reached its top-high ever, to the shame of the majority of Bolivians who struggle with and endure the lack of justice.