A Bogota court on Monday absolved former Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez of embezzlement charges that had put her in the spotlight of a major agricultural corruption scandal.
Dominguez was found not guilty of charges of embezzlement and fraud for her alleged participation in a corruption scandal at the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) — a government bureau tasked with providing subsidies to poor, rural farmers.
The former Miss Colombia was accused of receiving subsidies of $173,000 despite having no connection to agriculture or struggling farmers.
If she had been found guilty the actress and model could have faced a similar sentence to her former boyfriend, who was found guilty of the same charges.
Juan Manuel Davila was sentenced to 20-months under house arrest on Thursday.
Davila’s sister Ana Maria and his mother Maria Clara Fernandez de Soto also received the same sentence and were ordered to pay a fine of 180 minimum wages, coming to approximately $59,040, while his father Juan Manuel Davila Jimeno was sentenced to 22 months and forced to pay 901 minimum monthly salaries, an estimated $295,528.
However after a hearing that lasted just under 20 minutes, the judge decided that Dominguez was unaware of any misinterpretation of subsidy application forms.
According to the judge a series of emails between her and Davila were essential in showing that she had nothing to do with the irregularity
Afterwards Dominguez spoke to reporters and thanked her family among others for the support they had given her through her ordeal.
“I thank my attorneys and my family who supported me throughout this process,” she said at the end of the judicial proceedings.
“I always trusted in the Colombian justice (…) I thank God, because we finally feel relief from all the pain this has caused my family,” she added to reporters
“I want to thank the Colombians, to everyone who supported me from the beginning,”