The extradited Colombian David Murcia Guzman, responsible for a giant money laundering scheme, could be returned to Colombia to serve the remainder of his sentence.
A hearing in New York to decide whether Guzman’s sentence will be reduced from 20 to nine years was postponed earlier this week and will now take place on 23 May 2011.
As well as requesting this reduced sentence, Guzman’s legal team will also ask that their client be allowed to carry out the remainder of his custodial sentence in Colombia.
A preliminary agreement had previously been reached between the defence and prosecution teams over Guzman’s reduced sentence, as well as for the drug trafficking charges against him to be dropped, upon the agreement that Guzman pay $7 million in compensation to the victims of the DMG pyramid fraud.
One of Guzman’s lawyers, Miguel Angel Ramirez, told Semana newspaper that he was confident of his client’s chances of success in the hearing. He said that, at the very least, the judge should take into account the “three years Guzman has already served at the hands of the American authorities.”
However, even if Guzman is allowed to return to Colombia, his legal situation would be complicated because he could also have to answer the money laundering charges in his home country, leading perhaps to a “three or four year” sentence along with others who were part of the DMG fraud.
Guzman’s treatment in Colombia would also be uncertain because he has been alleged to have received harsher treatment than other parties found guilty in the DMG scheme.
Guzman’s business partner Daniel Angel Rueda only served two years in prison while another accused of involvement in the DMG pyramid, Margarita Pabon, is likely to shortly be released from her detention in a U.S. prison.
Guzman amassed a fortune by conning thousands of Colombians who participated in his DMG pyramid scheme.
W Radio alleged Friday that Guzman owns $13 million worth of property in the United States alone.
He was arrested in Panama in 2008, sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by a Colombian judge and then extradited to the U.S. in January 2010.
Guzman has been linked to other controversial acts, such as financing Panamanian political campaigns, while Caracol Radio today that documents may have been altered by Panama’s President and Inspector General to try and prevent Guzman’s 2010 extradition to the US.