US judge sentences Honduran ex-congressman to three years


New York (AFP)

A US federal judge on Friday sentenced a two-times former presidential candidate from Honduras to three years in an American prison for laundering drug proceeds from his country's Cachiros cartel.

Yani Rosenthal, 52, surrendered to US justice in October 2015, and in July pleaded guilty to money laundering while a congressman in Honduras between 2010 and 2014, and a presidential candidate from 2012 to 2013.

He was also ordered to forfeit $500,000 and pay a $2.5 million fine.

Rosenthal is the scion of the powerful Rosenthal clan in Honduras -- whose interests span banking, media, property, tourism, livestock and agriculture.

In 2012 while running for president, Rosenthal accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds from a leader in the Cachiros cartel and another major Honduran drug trafficker styled as purported campaign contributions, prosecutors said.

In October 2015, the US Treasury Department said it was targeting the family's multimillionaire patriarch, Jaime Rosenthal, his son Yani and his nephew Yankel "for their money laundering and drug trafficking activities."

Yankel was arrested in Miami by US authorities and US authorities have requested the extradition of Jaime, who was vice-president of the country from 1986 to 1989.