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US financial adviser guilty in Ecuador bribery scheme

MIAMI (AP) — A U.S. based financial adviser has pleaded guilty for his role in a bribery scheme involving Ecuador’s state-owned energy company.

The Miami U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release Tuesday that 40-year-old Jose Larrea pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge. He faces sentencing Nov. 14.

Court records show that Larrea admitted wiring more than $1 million between bank accounts to conceal bribes that were paid to officials at PetroEcuador. The bribes involved an oil services contractor who was trying to keep existing contracts and win new business.

Authorities say Larrea is the fourth person to plead guilty in the case, including the contractor and two former PetroEcuador officials. A fifth person charged in the conspiracy has an Oct. 15 trial date in Miami.

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