UAEH: Gerardo Sosa Castelán bound over for trial on organized crime charges 

Sosa Castelán was the head of the Board of Trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University

UAEH: Gerardo Sosa Castelán bound over for trial on organized crime charges 
Investigations indicate Sosa Castelán and others used a shell company to divert over MXN 58 million - Photo: Taken from the UAEH's website
English 07/09/2020 12:31 Alexis Ortiz Mexico City Actualizada 12:38

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A judge bound Gerardo Sosa Castelán, the chairman at the Board of Trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University (UAEH), and other three suspects over for trial after they allegedly embezzled MXN 58 million. 

Authorities are investigating them for allegedly carrying out operations using illicitly obtained resources and over organized crime accusations. 
 
The investigation indicates Sosa Castelán, Juan Manuel Hernández Gayosso, María Luisa Montalvo Sierra, and María Cruz Campos Álvarez embezzled the public university’s resources through companies like Contabilidad del Siglo XXI, Pachuca Sociedad Civil; Inmobiliaria Constructora y Arrendadora Yolo; Contabilidad Automatizada Hidalgo, and Eficiencia en Negocios y Asociados.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, at least one of these enterprises was a shell company used to transfer money to Sosa Castelán’s children. Prosecutors claim Castelán’s children received USD 87,153 and CAD 118,220.

Recommended: UAEH: Gerardo Sosa Castelán faces organized crime and money laundering charges
 
The judge gave the Attorney General’s Office three months to finish the investigation. 

Gerardo Sosa Castelán

Last week, the Attorney General’s Office charged Gerardo Sosa Castelán, the head of the Board of Trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University (UAEH), with organized crime and money laundering. Prosecutors also charged another three suspects in connection with the case.
 
Investigations indicate Sosa Castelán and others used a shell company to divert over MXN 58 million.
 
Authorities arrested Sosa Castelán and the three suspects on August 31. 
 
According to investigations, Sosa Castelán perpetrated transactions using illegally obtained resources worth up to MXN 58,200,000 through several companies. The resources were distributed among several other companies. However, sources close to the investigation said some of these companies legally received money from the UAEH and then distributed it among other companies to hide the resources.
 
Federal Prosecutors argue Castelán triangulated university resources through Contabilidad del Siglo XXI, a shell company. 
 
EL UNIVERSAL previously reported the Attorney General’s Office obtained four arrest warrants against Castelán’s two daughters. 

Recommended: Mexican authorities arrest Gerardo Sosa Castelán over money laundering at university

Embezzlement at Hidalgo's university

The board of trustees at Hidalgo’s Autonomous University has been under investigation since May 2019, when the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) discovered Sosa Castelán had incurred in irregularities. 
 
According to sources close to the investigation, authorities arrested Sosa Castelán after the UIF filed three lawsuits against him, where the government department accuses the politician of carrying out transactions with illegally obtained resources, embezzlement, and tax fraud. 
 
Moreover, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) indicates Gerardo Sosa Castelán hasn’t been able to prove the origin of MXN 151 million. Furthermore, the UIF accused Castelán of creating a money-laundering network and reports the UAEH hired these companies. 
 
The Financial Intelligence Unit blocked the six bank accounts that contain the MXN 151 million. Although the resources belong to the Hidalgo university, Sosa Castelán controls the money due to his role as the president of the board of trustees. 
 
In March 2019, EL UNIVERSAL reported several universities were under investigation over money-laundering allegations.
 
The UAEH was being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), under the Finance Ministry, for allegedly laundering USD 150 million.
 
“It has come to our attention that the Autonomous University of Hidalgo received resources from Switzerland through bank accounts in 22 countries,” Santiago Nieto, the head of the UIF, said in an interview.
 
Back then, Nieto argued that it was important to maintain secrecy in the analysis and disclosure of information, and refused to provide further details on the investigation so as not to undermine the ongoing inquiry.
 
The UIF announced that it had blocked several bank accounts of a state university for alleged money laundering on February 26, 2019.
 
Following a report issued by Mexico’s financial system on February 22, 2019, the UIF discovered that the university had received around USD 150 million. Simultaneously, the institution responded to a request by an international agency calling for Mexico’s cooperation on that particular case.
 
In 2019, the Hidalgo university released a statement claiming that the Mexican government had failed to follow due process in the investigation and denied the accusations. Furthermore, Adolfo Pontigo Logola, the university dean, stated that the institution would cooperate with authorities, though he warned that the UAEH would take legal action to protect the institution’s dignity.
 
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