El Paso Attorney Marco Delgado Sentenced To Maximum 20 Years In Federal Prison For Multi-Million Dollar Money Laundering Scheme
In El Paso this morning, 47-year-old El Paso attorney Marco Antonio Delgado, a.k.a. Marco Delgado Licon, was sentenced to the maximum 20 years in federal prison after a jury convicted him of conspiracy to launder up to $600 million in illegal drug proceeds announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Dennis Ulrich.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Senior District Judge David Briones ordered that Delgado pay a $25,000 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
In October 2013, a jury convicted Delgado of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Based on evidence presented during trial, the jury found that from a period of time between 2007 and 2008, Delgado conspired with other individuals to launder $600 million in illegal drug proceeds for members of the Milenio Drug Trafficking Organization. Two episodes of money laundering demonstrated to the jury included a Department of Homeland Security and Carroll County (GA) Sheriff’s Department seizure in September 2007 of $1,000,000 in U.S. Currency traveling from Atlanta, GA, to Mexico via El Paso; and, an HSI seizure of $50,000 in drug proceeds, in July 2008, in Chicago, IL, which was transported to El Paso and deposited in Delgado’s Attorney Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) bank account.
Delgado has remained in federal custody since his arrest in November 2012.
Delgado is currently set to go to trial again on March 31, 2014, based on a separate superseding indictment, returned on Wednesday, which charges him with three wire fraud counts and 16 money laundering counts—seven of which allege intent to conceal proceeds of illegal activity and nine of which allege spending of proceeds derived from illegal activity. According to the superseding indictment, in January 2010, Delgado, as a legal representative of FGG Enterprises, Inc. (FGG) signed a $121 million contract between FGG and the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), a Mexican-state-owned utility company, for the acquisition and maintenance of equipment at the Agua Prieta II power plant located in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. Pursuant to the agreement, payments from CFE to FGG were to be deposited into a FGG bank account located in El Paso.
The superseding indictment alleges that Delgado, for the purpose of personal enrichment and without the consent of the sole owner of FGG, submitted a fraudulent written request to CFE in Mexico which caused two wire transfers—one on March 8, 2010, in the amount of $20 million and one on July 6, 2010, in the amount of $12 million—to be deposited into a bank account he controlled located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The superseding indictment further alleges that Delgado subsequently wire transferred approximately $1.9 million from the Turks and Caicos Island bank account to bank accounts in El Paso; Taos, NM; and, Pittsburgh, PA, in order to either conceal the nature, location, source or ownership of the proceeds, or spend the proceeds, derived from his scheme.
Each wire fraud count and money laundering (intent to conceal) count call for up 20 years in federal prison upon conviction. Each of the money laundering (spending) counts call for up to ten years in federal prison upon conviction.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This prosecution resulted from an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Debra Kanof and Anna Arreola are prosecuting these cases on behalf of the Government.