11/25/2019 - U.S. Expert WItness News: Money-Laundering Expert Arrested for Laundering Money

For decades, Bruce Bagley has been regarded as a leading expert on organized crime in Venezuela and neighboring countries, particularly on money laundering. Now, the University of Miami professor has been arrested for doing exactly that.

Mr Bagley was arrested Monday on charges of laundering $3 million on behalf of corrupt foreign nationals who collected the illicit funds through bribes and by embezzling from a public works project in Venezuela.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan also accused Bagley of pocketing about 10% of the money, approx $300,000 which he took over 14 transactions between November 2017 and April 2019.

The 73-year-old is a longtime international relations professor at the university, writing and
editing several books on corruption, drug cartels and corruption, including Drug Trafficking, Violence in the Americas and Organized Crime.

Ironically tProfessor bagley is now being charged with two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy.

""About the only lesson to be learned from Professor Bagley today is that involving oneself
in public corruption, bribery, and embezzlement schemes is going to lead to an indictment," William F. Sweeney Jr., the head of the FBI's New York Field Office, said in a statement Monday.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said Bagley "opened bank accounts for the express purpose of laundering money for corrupt foreign nationals."

Berman added,, ""The funds Bagley allegedly was laundering were the proceeds of bribery and corruption, stolen from the citizens of Venezuela".

According to the indictment, unsealed in Manhattan federal court on Monday, Bagley began receiving monthly deposits of hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank accounts in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, which have both been tied to an unnamed Colombian national. He would then withdraw about 90% of the funds in the form
of a cashier's check and hand it over to a second unnamed Colombian national. Bagley would then send the remaining funds to his own personal account.

Apparently, Bagley and the recipient of the cashier's check visited the bank together to complete the transactions during which they discussed the fact that the funds were derived from corrupt means, including bribes.

Court documents also allege Bagley tried to cover his tracks by creating fake contracts to account for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he was making from the scheme.

If found guilt it represents a giant fall from grace for the expert witness once trusted by the FBI.

Bagley's profile page on the University of Miami site is blank. University officials said he has been placed on administrative leave as a result of his arrest. "As this is a personal matter in an ongoing investigation, the University has no further comment at this time," officials said in a statement to NPR.

Bagley was an expert witness in the recent Johnson & Jonson opioid trial.