Peña Nieto Lawyer Accuses Former AMLO Legal Counselor of Extortion

Imprisoned Mexican lawyer Juan Collado Mocelo. Photo: Google


Mexican lawyer Juan Collado Mocelo — the so-called advocate of the country’s former political elite — filed a formal complaint last year before the federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR), against Julio Scherer, the former chief legal counselor of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), but the case never proceeded against Scherer.

The complaint, which was filed by Collado Mocelo from his prison cell and which also included the names of three lawyers and a financial operator allegedly linked to Scherer, included charges of extortion, criminal association, money laundering and influence trafficking.

According to the complaint, Scherer allegedly offered to release Collado Mocelo from prison — where he had been held without bail since July 2019 on unspecific charges of organized crime activities and financial fraud — in exchange for selling his Caja Libertad financial services firm to Banco Afirme, owned by Julio César Villarreal Guajardo, a close friend and business partner of Scherer.

In his statement to the FGR, Collado Mocelo, whose high-profile clients include the likes of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, said that Scherer “had carried out acts that were intended to use the Mexican state and its respective institutions in order to obtain money and assets that were my property” and had “created a network of complicities to obtain economic benefits.”

Also implemented in the complaint were lawyers Juan Antonio Araujo Rivapalacio, César Omar González Hernández and Isaac Pérez Rodríguez, as well as David Gómez Arnau, financier and representative of Grupo Afirme.

The FGR agreed to proceed with a prosecution case against all the aforementioned person, with the sole exception of Scherer, who, according to Collado Mocelo, was the mastermind behind the extortion plot.

According to the filed complaint, it was Scherer who offered to drop all charges against  Collado Mocelo and to release him in exchange for 2 billion pesos as “compensation for damages” allegedly incurred by the lawyer’s purported illegal dealings.

Collado Mocelo said he paid the lawyers that Scherer had indicated some 10 million pesos in exchange for the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) closing an investigation against him.

In addition, he said, the lawyers asked him for an additional $3 million, of which he paid half, to defend him in court.

“They told me that the payment was the only way for me to get my freedom,” Collado Mocelo said.

Collado Mocelo filed the complaint against Scherer Ibarra and his alleged associates on Oct. 19, 2021, for the crimes of extortion, money laundering, criminal association and influence peddling.


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