American Shipper

Former Ex-Im Bank officer pleads guilty to bribery

Johnny Gutierrez, a former U.S. Export-Import Bank loan officer pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to accepting more than $78,000 in bribes.

   Johnny Gutierrez, a former U.S. Export-Import Bank loan officer pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to accepting more than $78,000 in bribes in return for recommending the approval of unqualified loan applications to the bank, among other misconduct, the Justice Department said.
   A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 20.
   As part of the guilty plea, Gutierrez admitted that on 19 separate occasions between June 2006 and December 2013, he accepted bribes in return for recommending the approval of unqualified loan applications and improperly expediting other applications.
   “Specifically, Gutierrez admitted that he intentionally ignored the fact that one company had previously defaulted in 10 previous transactions guaranteed by the bank, causing the Ex-Im Bank to lose almost $20 million. Despite these defaults, Gutierrez accepted bribes to continue to recommend the approval of the company’s loan applications,” the Justice Department said.