Closing arguments begin in cash suitcase trial

MIAMI (AP) -- U.S. prosecutors say a wealthy businessman was acting under the control of Venezuela's intelligence service to cover up the source of a suitcase stuffed with $800,000 discovered last year in Argentina.

Prosecutors made the claim Thursday in closing arguments in the Miami trial of 41-year-old Franklin Duran. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and acting as an illegal Venezuelan agent in the U.S.

Prosecutor John Shipley said Duran and others wanted to hide the fact that Venezuelan cash was being smuggled to the campaign of new Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.

Duran's lawyer says he came to the U.S. to help a friend embroiled in the political scandal. Duran also claims he was entrapped by the FBI.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 32951634 -
Gray Television, Inc.