Prosecutors revealed Wednesday that former Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez was sought by government ministers to improve the image of their bureau in the wake of an embezzlement scandal in which Dominguez herself allegedly participated.
The prosecutors argued that as a corruption scandal surfaced at the Agricultural Ingreso Security (AIS), Andres Fernandez –then head of the AIS– contacted Dominguez’s boyfriend about using the beauty queen in a public relations program to rehabilitate the bureau’s image.
Both Dominguez and her boyfriend, Juan Manuel Davila, are currently being tried for their part in the corruption scandal. Dominguez is currently charged with falsifying a personal document and attempted corruption.
Dominguez currently runs a jewelry store, and was found to have received a $163,000 non-taxable subsidy for an “irrigation and drainage” project.
Dominguez’s alleged embezzlement is just one part of a corruption scandal at the AIS, where subsidies originally intended to lessen economic inequality among poor farmers found their way to government officials and wealthy families like the Davilas.
Twenty-two people are currently being investigated including members of wealthy families, such as the Davilas and the politically connected Lacouture family, as well as former agricultural officials including former Vice Minister of Agriculture Juan Camilo Salazar Rueda.
Dominguez could face jail time if she is found guilty of the charges against her.