The U.S. Department of Justice announced late Monday that an international studies professor from the University of Miami plead guilty to laundering over $2 million throughout the course of a Venezuelan bribery and corruption scheme.
Bruce Bagley, 73, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff to two counts of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
According to the DOJ, Bagley of Coral Gables, is the author of Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today.
“Bruce Bagley, a college professor and author, went from writing the book on crime — literally writing a book on drug trafficking and organized crime — to committing crimes,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. “Professor Bagley admitted today to laundering money for corrupt foreign nationals — the proceeds of bribery and corruption, stolen from the citizens of Venezuela. Bagley now faces the possibility of a long tenure in prison.”
In 2016, Bagley allegedly opened a bank account on behalf of a company. According to the DOJ, that account had little activity until 2017, when the account began receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank accounts located in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Authorities said Bagley would then withdraw 90% of the funds in the forms of a cashiers check and place the remainder into his personal banking account.
According to the DOJ, Bagley had a conversation with an individual in 2018 where he was told the funds represented the proceeds of foreign bribery and embezzlements stolen from the people of Venezuela.
Authorities said Bagley continued the scheme after the conversation and opened a second bank account where he received even more funds, some of which he kept for himself.
Bagley is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on October 1, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.