Former Dominican official pleads guilty in UN bribes scandal
New York.- Francis Lorenzo, charged in a bribery scheme whilebeing Dominican Republic’s deputy ambassador at the UN, pled guilty in aplea bargaining agreement with federalprosecutors in New York and will cooperate with the investigation, EFE reports.
Lorenzo, 48, was released on US$2 million bond, had pleadednot guilty in October to six counts including conspiracy, bribery and moneylaundering.
Judge Vernon Broderick set the next hearing for July 8, ina case also links UN General Assembly president (2013-2014) John Ashe, whorepresented Antigua and Barbuda and five others, including Lorenzo.
At the center of the case figures real estate tycoon Ng LapSeng, arrested in September, charged with smuggling US$4.5 million into the US.
According to investigators, Lap Seng made two payments of US$200,000and US$300,000 to Ashe in exchange for promoting with UN Secretary General, BanKi-moon, the construction of a convention center in Macau valued in thebillions of dollars.
The payments were allegedly provided by two of the defendants,including Lorenzo, who admitted in court to accepting bribes.