New fraud charges filed against CMU ex-trustee

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Federal prosecutors in Texas have added several new charges to a fraud indictment against former Carnegie Mellon University trustee Marco Delgado, accused of pilfering millions from a Mexican utility and hiding some of it in his Pittsburgh bank account.

His trial, originally set for next month, has been pushed back to March 31 at Mr. Delgado's request.

Mr. Delgado, 47, an energy attorney in El Paso and a CMU trustee until 2012, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel.

In a second case, he is accused of diverting $32 million from a Mexican electricity utility that was building a power plant along the U.S. border and squirreling some of the money away in various accounts.

The U.S. attorney's office indicted him in that scheme a year ago but put the whole thing on hold for the unrelated drug trial, in which prosecutors said he conspired to launder millions for the Milenio cartel in 2007 and 2008.

Last week, prosecutors filed a superseding indictment against him, charging him with 16 counts of laundering and three counts of wire fraud. The new indictment added another wire count and a laundering count and switched three laundering counts to a different federal statute.

The case could land Mr. Delgado in prison for another 20 years.

He represented a Nevada company, FGG Enterprises, in a $121 million deal with Mexico's federal electricity commission to provide equipment and maintenance for the power plant in Sonora.

Payments from the utility were supposed to go to an FGG account in El Paso, but federal agents said Mr. Delgado directed the utility's bank to send the funds to his personal account in Turks and Caicos.

From there, agents said, he diverted money to his other accounts in Pittsburgh, New Mexico and Texas, in order to disguise the source. One count of the indictment indicates he transferred $200,000 to his Mellon Bank account here on July 14, 2010. Agents said he used the stolen money to support his lavish lifestyle.

The government has moved to forfeit many of Mr. Delgado's assets, including his house in El Paso, his ski resort condo in New Mexico and his Range Rover, as the proceeds of the scheme.


Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com or 412-231-0132.

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