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Ex-Matamoros mayor indicted on federal money laundering charges

Ex-Matamoros Mayor Erick Silva-Santos indicted on money laundering in McAllen // Source: Facebook

Ex-Matamoros Mayor Erick Agustin Silva-Santos has been indicted on money laundering charges on the American side of the border.

A federal grand jury in Brownsville handed down the indictment back in July but the case remained sealed until Monday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that 44-year-old politician is charged with money laundering, bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors reported that Silva-Santos served as mayor of Matamoros from January 2008 to December 2010 where he made a salary of $100,000 per year.

American officials alleged Silva-Santos used several schemes to embezzle campaign contributions, accept kickbacks and steal public funds starting even before taking office.

The indictment alleges Silva transferred those funds into American bank accounts through wire transfers or deposits.

In the process, Silva allegedly made false statements to bank officials and, in some instances, submitted fictitious supporting documents.

According to the indictment, Silva then used these funds to invest in certificates of deposits in the United States and annuities in Bermuda.

If convicted of either the mail or wire fraud, Silva-Santos faces up to 20 years in federal prison while a conviction for bank fraud carries a maximum 30-year sentence.

Silva-Santos is not in the custody of the United States and is considered a fugitive from justice.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact U.S. Homeland Security Investigations at (956) 542-5811.

Those calling from Mexico should call 001-800-010-5237.

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