Prosecutors said they were trying to negotiate a plea agreement
Wednesday with DMG director David Murcia’s brother-in-law, after two other executives accepted reduced sentences.
At least 700,000 Colombians invested as much as a half billion
dollars in pyramid schemes that collapsed in November, authorities have
said without providing exact figures.
Two associates of David
Murcia, the jailed suspect accused of orchestrating the scheme, pleaded
guilty to money laundering and on Tuesday received reduced prison
sentences of 53 months each in exchange for cooperation.
sentencing judge denied a request to allow the two — publicist Daniel
Angel and legal adviser Margarita Pabon — to serve out the sentences
under house arrest.
On Wednesday, two prosecutors visited a third
suspect — William Suarez — in Bogota‘s La Picota prison to seek a plea
deal, according to an official at the chief prosecutor’s office, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to
discuss the case publicly.
Suarez — a brother-in-law of Murcia — is charged with money laundering, bribery and obtaining funds illegally.
A lawyer for Suarez could not be immediately reached for comment.
and Pabon were both arrested on Nov. 18 as authorities moved to close
down Murcia’s company, DMG, which police have accused of laundering
Pyramid schemes typically offer dramatic returns by
using money from a rapidly increasing pool of investors, eventually
collapsing when the flow of new investment fails to cover everyone’s
DMG offered investors interest rates far above
what banks offer, and allowed them to withdraw much of their deposits
almost immediately in the form of electronics and other big-ticket
items from warehouse-style stores.
Murcia was arrested in Panama in November and deported to Colombia. (AP)