Disgraced ex-Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez has been forced to take time out from a busy New York acting schedule to attend her embezzlement trial, according to gossip site Sweet.
Dominguez, who’s accused of accepting $163,000 of subsidies meant for poor farmers, is reportedly having to miss acting classes at New York’s Strasberg Institute and fly back to Colombia to attend every hearing, after it was made clear that they wouldn’t go ahead without her.
Dominguez is accused of embezzling from the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS), a government scheme that was supposed to be responsible for providing subsidies to struggling farmers, but instead diverted money to the rich and powerful.
In a further twist, Colombian acting heartthrob and former telenovela co-star of Dominguez’ Juan Pablo Raba was allegedly presented on the original list of witnesses provided by Dominguez’ defense team.
Luckily, the presiding judge supposedly had enough sense to throw out Raba as a witness, on the grounds that though he might be able to attest to Dominguez’ acting ability (itself debatable) he would have nothing useful to offer as a witness in the case.
Under former Minister for Agriculture Andres Felipe Arias, $25 million was siphoned off and given to rich and powerful families unrelated to agriculture in return for political support. Aries has been in jail since since September 2011 while awaiting trial.