Arizona Mayor Indicted; Faces Bribery, Theft, Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictment and arrest of Mayor Octavio Garcia Von Borstel, 29, of Nogales, Arizona, on multiple charges including bribery, theft, fraud, and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel was arrested at his office at the Nogales City Hall this morning. Concurrently, search warrants were executed at his home, business and City Hall office.

The mayor’s father, Octavio Suarez Garcia, 59, of Nogales, also was indicted and arrested today. He faces several charges that include fraud, theft and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel began serving as the city’s mayor in April 2008.

FBI agents began investigating Garcia Von Borstel five months ago, most likely without his knowledge or consent, and have alleged that he was soliciting Nogales businesses to hire him as a business consultant as early as February 2009.

The indictment also alleges that the mayor received money from at least one business in exchange for utilizing his official position to protect a contract the business owner had with the city and to assist the business owner in obtaining an additional city contract.

The mayor’s father, Garcia Suarez, was an agent for Western Union authorized to sell Western Union money orders from his money transmitter business, ACE Cash Express, in Nogales. The state alleges that Garcia Suarez fraudulently reported that Western Union money orders worth $3.2 million were sold though there were no cash deposits to back them up. Allegedly, the money orders were then cashed by Garcia Von Borstel and deposited into a bank account he controlled.

Typically, an investigation of a public official begins when authorities are tipped off by another employee within the local political system that is under investigation and is looking to make a deal at the sacrifice of someone else’s career and reputation.

Because of Garcia Von Borstel’s public official status, if convicted, the judge will be permitted to increase his sentence.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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