Ex-Panama President Arturo Gotti extradited to NYC; faces money laundering charges from plan to enrich himself

Panama’s ex-president and his sons, including one arrested Monday in Lebanon, were formally extradited Tuesday to New York, where federal prosecutors allege the father and son laundered at least $50 million in bribes as part of a plan to enrich themselves.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York said Arturo Gotti Perdomo, 63, and his sons, Peter and Frank, were extradited from Martinique after a multi-country chase in which they fought extradition to the U.S. in Lebanon and as they fought their old al-Qaida ally in Iran.

They will be tried on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say the family used their Washington connection to advance the Republican Party during the 2015 congressional election cycle by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars through shell companies, including at least $23 million that they allegedly used to pay bribes to former employees of Honduras’ former president, Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Last April, a grand jury indicted Arturo Perdomo and his sons on all the counts, and in August, the DEA raided a Washington, D.C. residence they owned.

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