The Public Ministry (PM) of Panama confirmed on Thursday the sentence of 96 months (8 years) of imprisonment for the former head of the General Direction of Revenues (DGI) Luis Cucalón for the crimes of embezzlement and corruption of public servants by the “Cobranzas del Istmo” case.
The "Second Superior Court of Justice of the 1st Judicial District confirmed sentence that criminally responsible Luis Enrique Cucalón as author of Peculation and Corruption of Public Servants, and they applied 96 months in prison", said the PM in his Twitter account.
The ruling of the aforementioned court, dated January 31, confirms in all its parts the judgment that was issued on September 14, 2018, by which Cucalón was declared responsible for the crimes of embezzlement and corruption in the process followed by irregularities in the collection of delinquent taxes by the company Cobranzas del Istmo, during the last government.
For these crimes, the First Criminal Circuit Court sentenced him to 96 months (8 years) of prison and disqualification for the exercise of public functions.
In addition, it ordered the confiscation of 6.13 million dollars, plus interest generated, which had been seized from Cucalón from a bank account.
However, the first criminal judge, Agueda Rentería Sánchez, ordered the lifting of the provisional apprehension that weighed on other bank accounts because the process did not incorporate "evidentiary elements that demonstrate that they are subject of investigation for crimes against the national economy or other crimes".
The trial against Cucalón began after the lawsuit filed by lawyer Diógenes de La Rosa Cisneros, attorney of the former Minister of Economy and Finance Dulcidio De La Guardia for alleged ideological falsification of a public document, as a result of contract No. 100 of August 25, 2010, subscribed by the company Cobranzas del Istmo, SA, which constituted it as a collection manager for the recovery of unpaid debts.
But after analysis by auditors of the General Comptroller of the Republic revealed that there was a patrimonial injury to the public treasury of more than 29.5 million dollars.
In this process there is already a conviction against the businessman Cristóbal Salerno, owner of the company Cobranzas del Istmo, who accepted a penalty agreement with the Public Ministry. He was imposed a main prison sentence and an accessory sentence of money confiscation agreed between the parts.
Cucalón, who remains in the city jail of minimum security El Renacer, also serves a sentence of 16 months for the crime of Abuse of Authority and Infringement of the Duties of Public Servants, the local press recalled.