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Marc Harris Charged With Money Laundering In United States

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

13 June 2003


It emerged this week that offshore financial services provider, Marc Harris has been arrested and deported to the United States from Nicaragua.

Mr Harris, who has been the subject of many investigations by the US authorities over the years, was arrested on Tuesday in Managua, and flown to Miami, Florida, where he was yesterday charged with laundering money on behalf of the father and son Freon smuggling team, Aurelio and Joseph Vigna, who were convicted and sent to federal prison in 2001. Freon is a refrigerant which is banned in the United States because of the environmental damage that it causes.

Although reports in the US media are divided as to the exact number of counts of money laundering on which the former US CPA, whose accounting license was suspended in 1990, has been charged, it was revealed this week that he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Nicaragua's deputy Foreign Minister, Salvador Stadthagen explained that: 'We collaborated with this (extradition) request because of our government's position against money laundering and drug trafficking.'

Speaking in court, the fugitive financier reportedly told US Magistrate Judge William Turnoff that he has been involved in the software development business for some time, and has been living off his personal savings. He also claimed not to be able to afford a lawyer, although he did admit to owning a $500,000 house in Chile.

However, prosecutor David Buckner dismissed his claims of poverty, explaining to the court that:

'This defendant operates offshore trust companies. Our information is that he has access to a considerable amount of money overseas.'


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