HOUSTON, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba has been sentenced to nine years in prison for accepting over $3.5 million in bribes during his term.
He appeared in a Houston courtroom before U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera Jr. who sentenced him to 108 months in prison.
It has been two years since Yarrington, 66, pleaded guilty to violating his oath of office and weakening the country of Mexico by promoting criminal activity.
Yarrington served as governor from 1999 to 2005. He was also a the former mayor of Matamoros and former candidate for president of Mexico.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, while he was governor, Yarrington accepted bribes from individuals and private companies in Mexico to do business with Tamaulipas.
With the bribe money, Yarrington purchased properties in the United States under prestanombres or nominee buyers who purchased the properties to hide Yarrington’s ownership of them. Yarrington laundered his money in the U.S. by purchasing beachfront condominiums, large estates, commercial developments, airplanes and luxury vehicles.
“Even if you are governor of a Mexican state, we will not stand idly by when you use your position to wrongfully fill your pockets and violate the laws of the United States.” said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani at the sentencing. “Today’s prison sentence for Yarrington concludes a multi-year, multi-agency international investigation spanning two continents concluding in bringing a corrupt politician to justice.”
Yarrington is expected to be deported once he is out of prison. As part of his sentence, he has also forfeited a condominium he owned in Port Isabel.
In April of 2017, authorities arrested Yarrington in Italy while traveling under a pseudonym and fake passport. At the time Yarrington contested extradition and Italian authorities eventually extradited him to the U.S. in April 2018.
He will remain in custody until he is moved to a federal prison in the U.S.