The first son of former Panamanian president Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, has, as his attorney recently indicated at his arraignment, entered a plea of guilty to a single count in Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, in the EDNY Odebrecht bribery case.
Luis faces a maximum 20-year sentence; he and his brother, Ricardo Martinelli Linares, are accused of receiving $28m in bribes and kickbacks from Odebrecht, so that the international construction firm could receive lucrative Panamanian construction projects. Luis' brother is not yet in US custody, although his extradition from Guatemala is expected shortly.
Given the extremely large amount of bribe money involved, and the fact that the Martinellis' attorneys employed several dilatory appeals to avoid extradition, and the fact that they fled the US, most likely indicates that he will receive a long prison sentence.
According to the US Attorney's Office, Odebrecht paid out an estimated $700m to government officials, in Panama and elsewhere, to obtain and retain large construction contracts with foreign governments. Martinelli's sons allegedly acted as intermediaries, accepting and transmitting the bribe money meant for their father.