The United States will return to Peru 686 thousand dollars seized from former President Alejandro Toledo who had received bribes from the Brazilian construction conglomerate OdebrechtThe US Department of Justice reported on Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn indicated that Odebrecht paid $25 million in bribes to Toledowho was president of Peru between 2001 and 2006, for highway construction contracts.
Prosecutors said Toledo used $1.2 million of the money in 2007 to buy a house in marylandUnited States, which he sold eight years later.
In 2020, a judge ruled that prosecutors they could seize the money that Toledo had kept in a Bank of America account.
“Civil forfeiture plays a critical role in deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gainsregardless of their status,” Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor for Brooklyn, said in a statement.
Odebrecht has admitted that distributed bribes to governments throughout Latin America to help consolidate his vast construction empire.
Toledo denied soliciting or receiving bribes and has not been criminally charged in the United States. He could not be reached for comment on the situation, and his US attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Toledo resides in California, where he is fighting Peru’s attempts to extradite him to face bribery charges related to Odebrecht. He was represented in the extradition process by a public defender, and said that he had no income or savings.
The US State Department will have to make the decision if he is extradited.
Peru’s foreign ministry tweeted in February that it had agreed with the United States to repatriate the Toledo funds. (rts)