We’ve all heard it before — those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
Bruce Bagley set out to prove the notion wrong: Sure, he might’ve written (or, more specifically, co-edited) the book on drug crime; but he’s no mere skill-deficient instructor.
To emphasize the point, the 73-year-old responsible for Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today allegedly washed corrupt cash from that bastion of socialist success, Venezuela, skimming in the process more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Bruce — a professor of international studies at the University of Miami — was charged on Monday for laundering around $2.5 million in the U.S.
The dough came from foreign nationals via embezzlement, bribery, and other shady endeavors.
Without expressed permission, Bruce took a 10% commission for himself.
Via a statement, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. laid it out:
“Criminals employ a host of methods to launder the proceeds of their crimes, but in order to be successful, they need a way to hide and move their money. As we allege, Bagley, an American professor, contributed to the success of illegal activity overseas, carried out against the Venezuelan people, by facilitating access to illicitly obtained funds, and profiting from his role in the crime.”
According to prosecutors, between November 2017 and October 2018, Bruce received funds from Swiss and United Arab Emirates banks. Those payments went into a newly-opened account under a company name, which — as reported by Bloomberg — appears to be the defunct Florida corporation Bagley Consultants, Inc.
The overseas accounts belonged to a “purported food company” as well as a wealth management firm allegedly controlled by an unidentified Colombian.
Prosecutors claim Bagley would withdraw 90% of the payments in the form of cashier’s checks payable to an account held by an unnamed person.
Even after the bank account was shut down for suspicious activity in October 2018, Bagley opened a second account in December, where he received money on two separate occasions, prosecutors said.
Before the big lawless reveal, Bruce was already touted as an expert:
Widely quoted in the media on drug trafficking, Bagley has criticized flawed efforts at combating it. Last year, he told Bloomberg News that Marxist guerrillas from the National Liberation Army were “serious about peace” and that the Colombian government was dragging its feet implementing land reform and ensuring security.
The New York Times cited him in 2012 about what he called a “Whac-A-Mole” approach, in which targeting trafficking in one place just moves to another location.
The professor’s being charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts of money laundering.
If convicted, he faces 20 years.
Bruce was hired to launder, but he tried to take his cohorts a ways to the cleaners. Now, it looks like he may end up working in the laundry facility — of a federal prison.
As a criminal, he’s all washed up.
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