Former Honduran Executive Convicted of Unlawful Mask Purchases

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Former Invest-H official convicted of fraud in the face of COVID-19 health emergency

On January 26, 2023, the Corruption Sentencing Court found former Invest-H administrator Alex Moraes guilty of the crime of author fraud in the purchase of 474,000 N9 type masks in the face of the covid-19 health emergency. The court also found Bográn guilty of the same crime, for which he could be sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison.

According to the National Fiscal Support Unit and the Criminal Investigation Technical Agency, the Government of Honduras had to purchase biosafety material to protect medical personnel, for which four former Invest-H officials, including Moraes and Bográn, “conspired with the companies Grupo G and T SA de CV and Germar Ferretería” to defraud the state.

With regards to Moraes’ crimes, he was found guilty of violation of the duties of officials, whereas Bográn was acquitted of this charge and the former officials and legal representatives of the two companies were charged with pretense. As a result of this, Moraes was acquitted of the charges of fraud and the court revoked the precautionary measure of preventive detention.

The ruling also declared that Bográn must pay a fine for an amount equal to or up to triple the value of what was defrauded and absolute disqualification for twice the duration of the sentence. The hearing to individualize the sentencing and sentence is scheduled for February 16, 2021, and the Public Ministry of Honduras indicated that it will challenge this decision.

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