The former first lady of Honduras receives 14 years in prison on charges of fraud

Former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo arrives at a court hearing to address transplantation allegations, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Aug.20, 2019. (Reuters / Jorge Cabrera / File Photo)

A Honduran court on Wednesday sentenced the country’s former first lady, Rosa Bonilla, to 14 years in prison on charges of fraud and embezzlement of funds for social programs, a spokesman for the judiciary said.

Bonilla, wife of former president Porfirio Lobo, spent about 12.2 million lempiras (then worth about $ 590,000) on low-income children with personal credit card payments, her children’s tuition and construction. of real estate, according to the public ministry.

His lawyer, Juan Berganza, said he would appeal the sentence.

“Former first lady Rosa Elena Bonilla was sentenced to 14 years and one month in prison for crimes of continuing fraud and embezzlement of public funds destined for social programs,” said Carlos Silva, spokesman for the Supreme Court of justice.

Bonilla had previously been sentenced to 58 years in prison in a previous trial, which HondurasThe Supreme Court overturned in early 2020, arguing it was rife with inconsistencies.

The Supreme Court ordered a retrial by a lower court, which found Bonilla guilty in March of this year.

—Report by Gustavo Palencia; Written by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sandra Pittore