MANHATTAN (CN) - A Scarsdale attorney and a client were arrested and charged with conspiring to violate the trade embargo against Cuba, and the attorney is charged with obstructing justice.
Marc Verzani, 45, is accused of spending money in Cuba. His client Adem Arici, 49, of Brooklyn, "invested millions of dollars in Cuban real estate," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing the prosecution.
Neither the statement nor the 7-page federal complaint indicates that Verzani assisted Arici in his Cuban real estate investments.
They are charged with violating the Trading with the Enemy Act.
Verzani allegedly went to Cuba with a third party, a cooperating witness (CW). They allegedly met Arici in Cuba, "who showed them a hotel that he was building and a house that he owned," according to the U.S. Attorney's statement. "Verzani and the CW decided not to purchase Cuban real estate but they, along with Arici, spent money on food, drink, transportation, entertainment, and personal services."
Both men are charged with witness tampering: trying to get the cooperating witness to cover up their trip to Cuba. Verzani is charged with giving false testimony in a civil proceeding: denying he went to Cuba.
The conspiracy charge is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; witness tampering by 20 years and $250,000; obstruction of justice by 10 years and $250,000.
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