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EX-TAX CHIEF GETS 8 YEARS.

Not long ago, Byron Jerez was a successful Miami businessman, Nicaraguan tax chief and right-hand man to Nicaragua's most powerful man, former President Arnoldo Aleman. His fall from grace was swift and severe: He was sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly stealing US$500,000 in government funds to finance his Miami companies. And he still faces another seven criminal trials, for -- among other things -- allegedly buying luxury SUVs for his associates, reports The Miami Herald (June 18, 2003):

Jerez lived in Miami for nearly 20 years before returning to Managua in 1997 to head the nation's tax collection agency. He was a power broker to then-President Aleman, who as head of Congress is now under house arrest for allegedly misusing more than US$100 million in public funds. Jerez was the first to fall in the anticorruption crusade led by President Enrique Bolanos;

Bolanos was Aleman's vice president. Once elected president, he made it his mission to go after Aleman, who allegedly used government coffers as a private slush fund. The probe against Aleman cost Bolanos the majority of his political support, and his own party has declared itself in opposition to him.

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Title Annotation:Byron Jerez
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:2NICA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
Words:198
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