EDINBURG, Texas — A businessman from Austin, Texas, has been accused of using a corrupt Mexican judge and a diplomat to file fake arrest warrants extorting $2.8 million from a former business partner. The scheme placed the victim into U.S. law enforcement databases as a wanted man so he would be detained by immigration authorities. The man was temporarily detained and released multiple times.
The accusations come from a civil lawsuit filed in the 92nd State District Court where Felix Arturo Rodriguez claimed his former business partner, Francisco Esteban Bunt, was behind the extortion scheme. The lawsuit also names Mexican Federal prosecutor and former diplomat David Macedo Santos, as well as other allegedly corrupt figures in Mexico.
According to the lawsuit, since November 2013, Rodriguez began to be detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers whenever he entered the country due to a “flag”. After CBP officers investigated the flag, they would let him in without providing further details. During one of the detentions, CBP officers mentioned that the flag was due to an Interpol warrant for kidnapping out of the state of Puebla. In the lawsuit, Rodriguez claimed that he had not been to Puebla in more than 25 years.
After inquiring into the case, Rodriguez learned that the flag was due to a report where Bunt claimed to have been kidnapped by Rodriguez. According to the information from the lawsuit, Rodriguez and Bunt had been business partners until in 2007. Rodriguez filed charges against Bunt in Mexico accusing him of stealing money from the company. In that case, Bunt was arrested in border city of Reynosa and ordered by a judge to pay back $2.6 million. Court documents revealed that Bunt tried to escape during his arrest and had “made it known” claiming to be wanting to get even.
In March 2014, Rodriguez’s attorney met with Bunt’s attorney, Sergio Muñoz Caballero, in a meeting arranged by the Puebla attorney general where $2.8 million USD were demanded by Muñoz in order to make the false arrest warrants go away, the allegations in the lawsuit revealed. Rodriguez was able to learn that Muñoz Caballero had used one of his associates named David Macedo Santos, to input the false information about the arrest warrants for kidnapping into U.S. law enforcement databases. Macedo Santo is a Mexican federal prosecutor, a private attorney who shares an office space with Muñoz and a former diplomat who served as the Washington attache for Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR). He is the son of Rafael Macedo de la Concha, the former Mexican Attorney General under President Vicente Fox.
In his written response to the lawsuit, Bunt denied all the allegations mentioned. The case continues to move forward in Texas state court.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.