Ex-Guatemala president pleads guilty in NYC

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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 11:36 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Guatemala's ex-president has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in a New York federal court, saying he accepted $2.5 million in bribes to continue to recognize Taiwan diplomatically.

Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala's president from 2000 to 2004, entered the plea Tuesday. In a deal with U.S. prosecutors, the 62-year-old ex-president pleaded guilty to a single count of money laundering conspiracy. The written agreement says he will not appeal any sentence between four and six years in length.

Aided by a Spanish interpreter, Portillo said he agreed with certain Guatemalan bankers and others to move the $2.5 million through U.S. banks. He says some of the proceeds were eventually moved to accounts in Miami and Washington, D.C.

He was extradited to the United States in May.

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