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Bank VP Admits He Took Bribes

MIAMI (CN) - A former vice president of Ocean Bank pleaded guilty to taking nearly $500,000 in bribes and not paying taxes on it, federal prosecutors said.

Danilo Perez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to solicit or demand money and things of value to influence an employee of a financial institution, and three tax counts.

Perez's bribes included payments for expensive watches, tickets to the Super Bowl, and "substantial amounts of cash," the Justice Department said in a statement.

The unidentified co-conspirators who bribed him sought approval of letters of credit, loans and overdraft privileges with the bank, prosecutors said.

Perez faces up to 5 years and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and up to 3 years and a $250,000 for each tax charge.

Had he reported the bribes, he would have had to pay $91,000 in taxes on them, the government said - an 18 percent tax rate.

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