A court in El Salvador on Wednesday sentenced former President Mauricio Funes to six years in prison for tax evasion in the fiscal period of 2014, the last year of his presidential term.
Funes, on whom a 14-year prison sentence already weighs for having negotiated a truce with the gangs During his administration, he faced an accusation from the Prosecutor’s Office for not having declared an income of $271,857.49 that year. By not doing so he evaded payment of $85,157.25.
The decision of the San Salvador court handed down a six-year sentence “for the crime of tax evasion in the form of evasion,” according to what he indicated, although the Public Ministry had requested the maximum penalty: eight years in prison.
The Prosecutor’s Office had also requested a civil liability sentence for $200,499.52, an amount that included a fine and interest.
The 64-year-old former president ruled El Salvador from 2009 to 2014, lives in Nicaragua under the protection of President Daniel Ortega, who in 2019 granted him nationality to avoid his extradition. He was not present at the trial that was installed on Tuesday nor did he appoint a defense attorney, but he was assigned one ex officio to be able to continue with the process in the absence of the accused, thanks to a criminal reform of September 2022.
Funes, 64, is the second former Salvadoran president convicted of violating the law during his term (2009-2014). The previous one was Tony Saca, who governed from 2004 to 2009 and who in September 2018 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the diversion of more than 300 million dollars from state coffers.