MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A University of Miami professor who wrote a book on drug crime is facing tenure in federal prison after being accused of laundering more than $2 million.
"I'm feeling just fine. Not guilty. That's how I'm feeling. They've got it all wrong, Bruce Bagley told CBS 4's Ty Russell Monday.
The 73-year-old is a professor on International Studies, who wrote Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today, has been charged with laundering millions of dollars derived from Venezuelan bribery and corruption, federal officials said.
"Bagley, a college professor and author of the book Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today, allegedly opened bank accounts for the express purpose of laundering money for corrupt foreign nationals. Moreover, the funds Bagley was allegedly laundering were the proceeds of bribery and corruption, stolen from the citizens of Venezuela. Today's charges of money laundering and conspiracy should serve as an object lesson for Bruce Bagley, who now faces a potential tenure in federal prison," US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.
"Criminals employ a host of methods to launder the proceeds of their crimes, but in order to be successful, they need a way to hide and move their money. As we allege, Bagley, contributed to the success of illegal activity overseas, carried out against the Venezuelan people, by facilitating access to illicitly obtained funds, and profiting from his role in the crime. About the only lesson to be learned from Professor Bagley today is that involving oneself in public corruption, bribery, and embezzlement schemes is going to lead to an indictment," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge, William F. Sweeney Jr.
Bagley, of Coral Gables, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
"I'm shocked. I completely did not expect him, of all people, to have this accusation against him," former student Angelica Fromer said. "He definitely is the type of professor who really cares about students. He's willing to go out of his way to make sure that every student receives extensive knowledge of international relations."
A spokesperson with University of Miami sent the following statement:
"The University of Miami was made aware Monday afternoon of the indictment filed against Professor Bruce Bagley. In light of this development, Professor Bagley is on administrative leave. As this is a personal matter in an ongoing investigation, the University has no further comment at this time."
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