Yarrington Ruvalcaba, Former Tamaulipas Governor Indicted For Money Laundering And Bank Fraud

Tomas Jesus Yarrington Ruvalcaba and Fernando Alejandro Cano Martinez

U.S. federal authorities are seeking information on the whereabouts of both Ruvalcaba and Martinez who were indicted for conspiracy to defraud banks and money laundering. 

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 2, 2013

Brownsville, Texas - On Monday,  U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Texas unsealed an indictment charging both Tomas Jesus Yarrington Ruvalcaba, 56, a former Tamaulipas governor and his associate Fernando Alejandro Cano Martinez, 57, from the City of Juarez, Tamaulipas with conspiracy to defraud banks and money laundering. The indictment charges Ruvalcaba and Martinez, the owner of Materiales y Construcciones Villa de Aguayo, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican construction firm, with conspiring to violate the provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. The two men are also charged with conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud, and conspiracy to make false statements to federally insured U.S. banks.
Ruvalcaba is also separately charged with a conspiracy to violate the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act, two substantive bank fraud charges, and a conspiracy to structure currency transactions at a domestic financial institution, while Martinez is separately charged with three counts of bank fraud.
In May 2012, a previous indictment states that Ruvalcaba began to accept bribes from drug traffickers in 1998. Martinez conspired to created a variety of corporate entities in the U.S. to launder money paid by the Gulf Cartel to corrupt high level public elected Mexican officials and candidates for public office in Tamaulipas. 
"Millions worth of assets, primarily in Texas real estate were aquired in the scheme. Martinez is also accused of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. According to the indictment, Martinez and others also engaged in a separate conspiracy in the acquisition of loans from financial institutions by submitting false financial information to the banks in order to obtain the loans.
"At the same time the indictment against Martinez was returned, civil actions were filed by United States Attorney's Offices in the Southern and Western Districts of Texas. In Corpus Christi, Texas, a civil complaint was filed regarding real estate property allegedly owned by Ruvalcaba. Ruvalcaba was the former mayor of Matamoros, former governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2004 and a former presidential candidate for Mexico. In the complaint, it is alleged that Ruvalcaba used illicit proceeds to purchase a condominium located in South Padre Island, Texas, using a third party to conduct the $450,000 transaction and hold title.
"In San Antonio, the United States Attorney's Office is filing a civil action regarding a single property, purchased in 2006 for approximately $6.6 million, that was allegedly obtained with illicit funds by Ruvalcaba, Martinez and others," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Texas.
Ruvalcaba also allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S. from 2007 to 2009. If convicted, Ruvalcaba is facing up to 20 years in prison for money laundering, 30 years for bank fraud and 10 years for the drug charge.
Martinez, if convicted of three counts for bank fraud is facing up to 30 years in prison for each count, 20 years for money laundering and a money judgement of $20M for each count and forfeiture of assets, including an airplane and bank acounts.