Prosecutors ask for 20 years in prison for former PDI executive accused of embezzlement, forgery in public documents and money laundering


The public prosecutor has asked for 20 years in prison for the former director of the Investigative Police (PDI) Héctor Espinosa, accused of embezzlement, forgery of public documents and money laundering. In detail, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is asking for a 10-year prison sentence for embezzlement, five for the crime of money laundering and another five for falsifying a public document.

It is worth mentioning that, in 2021, Espinosa faced justice after the case of misappropriation of public funds involving the confidential expenditure intended for the PDI. At that time, the report of the Magallanes prosecutor, Eugenio Campos, described a compendium of economic crimes directly related to the management of the former police director, hitherto unknown.

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Prosecutor Campos recounted how the former director of the PDI allegedly embezzled 146 million dollars. “Between the years from 2015 to 2017, in the outbuildings of the institutional building, located in General Mackenna street n. 1.370 of the municipality of Santiago, Espinosa stole large sums of money in national currency, coming from public resources intended to meet the confidential expenses . and assigned to said institution,” the persecutor began to recount, according to Third.

The chief public prosecutor of Magallanes added that it was through the Budget Office (DIPRES) that Espinosa deposited the funds of the confidential expenses in the institutional current account of the PDI. Subsequently they communicated with the Finance Office to request the withdrawal of the money and then the Treasury Department prepared a discharge slip, in which the requested amount was noted.

A check was issued and delivered to the former police chief, who entrusted his then collaborator – Deputy Commissioner Eduardo Villablanca – with the monthly collection of the check corresponding to these amounts, after having coordinated the collection of these sums by the police. . In this way, the detective and Espinosa’s right-hand man would go and collect those sums at the Banco Estado headquarters, where they would take him to the vault and give him the money in cash.

Villablanca returned to the PDI building and handed over these sums of money to his superior, who, according to the investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office reported by the aforementioned body, distributed part of the money among the specialized units and then “stolen” the rest.

“The accused former director of the PDI had part of it deposited, in cash, in his personal current accounts, both at the Banco Estado (…) and at the Banco de Chile; as well as in the current account of the Banco del Chile belonging to his wife, the defendant María Magdalena Neira Cabrera,” prosecutor Campos explained to the court.

And he added: “The stolen sums (…) come from public funds intended for private expenses”. Therefore, a complaint was also filed against Espinosa’s wife and the court was asked to sentence her to 5 years and one day, solely for the crime of money laundering. Furthermore, the prosecutor considered the purchase of a car for her son as evidence.

Starting January 19thin preparation for the oral trial, the Prosecutor’s Office will try to demonstrate how Espinoza —who created the Anti-Corruption Unit— defrauded the institution.

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