Mexican authorities issue arrest warrant against Cruz Azul's director Guillermo Álvarez

In 2013, Mexico's Financial Intelligence Unit detected irregular transactions done by Guillermo Álvarez and other Cruz Azul top directors

Mexican authorities issue arrest warrant against Cruz Azul's director Guillermo Álvarez
English 30/07/2020 13:15 Mexico City Actualizada 20:24

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The director of the Cruz Azul Cooperative, Guillermo Álvarez Cuevas, and four of his colleagues are sought by Mexican justice after a federal judge, based on the El Altiplano maximum-security prison in the State of Mexico, issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday against them over organized crime and transactions involving illegally-sourced funds.

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) has accused Álvarez Cuevas, Mario Sánchez, the chief financial officer of the cooperative; Eduardo Borrell, legal director; Víctor Garcés, former legal director; and Ángel Martín Junquera, external lawyer, among others, of being organized to illegally use resources from the firm during six years.

According to the investigations, between 2011 and 2017, the accused operated a structure in which they authorized and made payments for inexistent services to Empresas Facturadoras de Operaciones Simuladas (EFOS), such as Plexival S.A. de C.V., Trans Nau S.A. de C.V., and Expertos en Asesoría Empresarial S.A. de C.V., without having the cooperative’s representation powers, with which they intended to hide the destination of the resources.

Since 2013, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) detected irregular transactions by the aforementioned group worth MXN $422 million, but the FGR was only able to prove irregularities for MXN $114 million since 2011.

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The investigations show that the cooperative’s external lawyer, Ángel Martín Junquera Sepúlveda, was in charge of designing and coordinating the scheme for embezzlement under the EFOS.

In the paper 3/190/2020, with which the arrest was requested, the FGR asserts that eight witnesses, several of them with administrative positions, were fundamental to detect the allegedly criminal operations of the also president of the Cruz Azul club, Guillermo “Billy” Álvarez Cuevas, and his collaborators, who would have helped him hide millions of pesos that belonged to the cooperative and make it seem as though they were used legally.

If he is found guilty of the charges against him, Guillermo Álvarez Cuevas, who is considered the leader of the group, would spend from 20 to 40 years in prison for organized crime; the other suspects could spend from 10 to 20 years in prison.

Last June, the UIF informed that the U.S. Treasury Department has an ongoing investigation against Álvarez Cuevas over international asset laundering.

The cooperative’s spokesman, Jorge Hernández, asserted that Álvarez Cuevas has not been arrested and that he worked on Wednesday as he usually does at his office, where he led several meetings.

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“I spoke a while ago to him; he was in his office the whole morning and we don’t have any kind of notification on that respect,” he said in a phone interview with EL UNIVERSAL.

He even mentioned that the legal team is going through the information spread regarding the arrest warrant against Álvarez. “The legal area is checking its origin, the charges, and of course, how to face them.”

Other people that are under investigation include Noé Calvo Morales, Benito Rodríguez Fayad, Pablo Reséndiz García, Mario Cruz Valverde, Ignacio López Medina, Pedro Espinoza, Jorge Fernández Rodríguez, Raúl Antonio Enríquez, Germán Díaz, as well as companies and shareholders that could have been involved in the money laundering schemes.

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