Saturday, March 14, 2020


Prof. Bruce Bagley

Professor Bruce Bagley, an authority on money laundering and narcotics trafficking at the University of Miami, and who faces three counts of money laundering, has indicated to the Court that he will change his plea to guilty, at a hearing which has been scheduled this month. The defendant had previously entered a plea of not guilty when arrested. The defendant was suspended from his position as Professor  of International Studies; he is the author of Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Violence in the Americas Today, and is deemed to be an expert in the field, who has testified as such in court, and before committees of the US Congress.

How an university professor who is considered to be a preeminent expert in the field of money laundering in South Florida came to be involved with Saab,  a known career criminal and money launderer who controlled offshore banks in Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda, is not known. Those of us in the anti-money laundering field who know him are at a loss to understand how Bagley, a prominent academic, could have agreed to conduct the same criminal activity that he taught his students.

The Defendant allegedly moved the proceeds of crime for the fugitive (and OFAC-sanctioned) Colombian money launderer, Alex Nain Saab Morán, who was a close confident of Venezuelan President Nicolás  Maduro. The Government asserts that he used bank accounts in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates to move $3m of bribery and embezzlement proceeds, retaining ten per cent ($300,000) as his fee.
Alex Nain Saab Moran

It is not known how and when he became involved with Saab, who used a food service company as the source of the funds that were reportedly laundered by Prof. Bagley. Saab held a no-bid contract to provide food to Venezuela; he was also indicted in the Southern District of Florida in a money laundering case connected to a Venezuelan public housing program.

Professor Bagley's defense attorney has set the Change of Plea hearing for march 20, 2020. It is not known whether the Government will dismiss a portion of the pending charges, pursuant to plea negotiations.

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