Mark Rossini pleads not guilty to bribing Wanda Vázquez Garced

Mark Thomas Rossinithe former federal agent who allegedly participated in the scheme to bribe the former governor Wanda Vazquez Garcedpleaded not guilty this Tuesday of the crimes imputed to him by federal authorities.

Rossini, 60, faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly conspiring with the owner of Bancrédito International Bank & Trust, Julio Herrera Velutiniand other people to bribe the then governor and commit wire fraud.

During the hearing in the Federal Court, in Hato Rey, his lawyers Sean Haran and Derek Cohen reported that Rossini moved to Spain to receive treatment for cancer and requested that he be allowed to continue residing in the European country while he awaits the day of trial. against him.

“If he is forced to live in the United States, he will not have access to his doctors, he does not have a health plan, so he will not be able to have the medical treatment he needs,” said one of the robes.

Although he sympathized with his condition, Magistrate Camille Vélez Rivé concluded that the probation officer will have no way of supervising his parole if he continues to reside in Europe, for which he is required to move to the United States. Vélez Rivé did allow her to travel to Spain for medical treatment, in coordination with her probation officer.

The defense informed the magistrate that her client had known about the federal investigation for 10 months and had informed the US government that he was in Madrid, in addition to having made himself available for the investigation.

“From day one, we have told the government that we are going to make ourselves available and we are going to surrender voluntarily,” reiterated his lawyer.

Velez Rive posted a $50,000 secured bond.

On the left, Rossini leaving the court after pleading not guilty.
On the left, Rossini leaving the court after pleading not guilty. (Xavier J. Araújo Berríos)

Rossini was in Madrid thus, he had not been arrested by US authorities at the time of his indictment, on August 3, by a federal grand jury.

Today’s judicial process took place after Rossini turned himself in to the authorities at the offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, in English) in San Juan, confirmed the head of the federal prosecutor’s office in Puerto Rico, Stephen Muldrow,

“He gave himself up here”Muldrow said in an interview with The new day.

He added that it is the best because he does not have to go through a formal extradition process.

Muldrow, however, declined to comment on the status of the move to take custody of the banker Julio M. Herrera Velutini.

The former FBI agent had been accused of conspiracy, bribery with federal funds and illegal commissions to Vázquez Garced. Also accused in this scheme are Vázquez Garced, Herrera Velutini, whom Rossini was advising, according to the indictment.

The conspiracy sought to get the former governor to fire the commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF), George Joyner, and to appoint someone close to Bancrédito, in order to put an end to the audit that had detected suspicious transactions in the Herrera Velutini account. .

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