Peña Nieto’s lawyer bought three luxury apartments in Miami and two planes through Andorra

Lawyer Juan Ramón Collado, on July 9, 2019 in Mexico City.
Lawyer Juan Ramón Collado, on July 9, 2019 in Mexico City.GERMAN ROMERO

Juan Ramón Collado, lawyer for former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), bought through Andorra three luxury apartments in Miami and two planes that were registered in the US, according to a report by the Police of this European principality to which EL PAÍS has had access.

The lawyer used his financial network in Andorra as collateral to request 11 loans for a total of 14 million dollars (13.7 million euros). And he allocated that money to the acquisition and maintenance of two aircraft valued at 5.2 million dollars (5.1 million euros) and to the purchase and renovation of three apartments in the St. Regis Bal Harbor complex in Miami, according to the report Police, December 2021.

The lawyer is the son of José Ramón Collado Amieva, a businessman born in Llanes (Asturias) who died in 2018 at the age of 78 and who amassed a fortune with a law firm and a chain of pawnbrokers in Mexico, where he emigrated when he turned adulthood.

Image of the St. Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.
Image of the St. Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.Miami Condo Lifestyle

Located in front of the bay, the St Regis Bal Harbour, the complex chosen by Peña Nieto’s lawyer, houses 275 homes with 26 floors. Its apartments – between one and four rooms – range between 2.6 million dollars (2.5 euros) and 14.5 million (14.3 euros).

Designed by the architect specializing in luxury buildings Sieger Suárez, the residential offers “intelligent technology” to enjoy an experience “that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet”, according to Miami Condolife Style real estate agency.

Two heated pools, one spa facing the sea or a private elevator are some of the attractions of this complex built in 2011 and that has “lush” gardens, a health center with “ultra-modern” equipment and a lobby conceived by interior designer Yabu Pusherberg, according to this same real estate firm.

The company that sells these homes praises that their balconies allow you to enjoy “panoramic views” of the bay and the sea and that the properties house “spacious wardrobes”.

Image of the lobby of the St. Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.
Image of the lobby of the St. Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.Miami Condo Lifestyle

The internal documentation of the Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA) -where the lawyer moved 111 million dollars (109 million euros) between 2006 and 2015- reveals that Collado resorted to instrumental companies (without real activity) to pay -at least – two million dollars (1.9 million euros) as a disbursement so as not to lose a reservation of the apartments.

In addition, the bank of the Pyrenean principality allegedly operated to shield Collado’s identity in the transaction. “As the payer, only the name of the company should appear on the transfer. NOT FROM THE REPRESENTATIVE”, collects an internal email from the BPA dated February 2, 2012 that alludes to the operation to disburse the deposit of the Miami properties.

Image of one of the swimming pools at the St Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.
Image of one of the swimming pools at the St Regis Bal Harbor apartment complex in Miami.Miami Condo Lifestyle (Miami Condo Lifestyle)

Collado formalized part of the sale of the two aircraft and the three apartments in Miami through Florida attorney Gustavo J. García-Montes. The lawyer of the former PRI president ordered 25 transfers to two accounts of this lawyer at the Suntrust Bank Central Florida for a total of 7.4 million dollars (7.2 million euros) between January 2010 and December 2014.

Along with the properties in Miami, Collado also used the services of this Florida lawyer to buy and maintain two aircraft, according to the Andorran Police. EL PAÍS has tried unsuccessfully to obtain the version of Gustavo J. García-Montes.

Peña Nieto’s lawyer paid 3.2 million (3.1 euros) in 2010 to the Colorado Teletech Services Corp. firm for a 1995 model Cessna Citation 650 aircraft and two million dollars (1.9 euros) for an 1889 Bombardier Challenger 601 3-E.

To acquire the Cessna Citation 650, Collado pledged the plane itself and funds from one of its holding companies, according to an email from the BPA.

On the other hand, the latest Andorran Police report on Collado bears the signature of the Economic and Financial Investigation Unit of the European country. The document attacks the lawyer’s attitude during the money laundering investigation carried out by a judge from this Pyrenean principality, shielded until 2017 by banking secrecy. The agents censor Collado’s alleged maneuvers to torpedo the investigation and charge against filing a lawsuit against the investigator who instructed the investigation.

The inquiries also question the origin of the funds that Collado entered in Andorra -111 million between 2006 and 2015- and doubt that this money comes from his activity as a lawyer or from the Prenda Oro pawnshop business created by his father in 1999. , as he declared to the instructor. In addition, the investigators insist on the enormous sphere of political influence of the lawyer, known as the lawyer of power for having defended prominent figures such as the Pemex union leader, Carlos Romero Deschamps; the former Governor of Quintana Roo Mario Villanueva (PRI) or Raúl Salinas de Gortari, brother of former President Carlos Salinas.

The Police of the European country also charges against the ups and downs that judicial investigations have suffered in Andorra. The investigation in the principality was filed in 2018 after the PGR issued an exculpatory report during Peña Nieto’s six-year term and justified the legality of the lawyer’s funds.

However, Collado’s arrest in Mexico in July 2019 and his sending to prison, where he is still, forced the reopening of the investigations in the Pyrenean principality. The lawyer was arrested in his country for organized crime and money laundering, very similar crimes for which he was being investigated in Andorra before the investigations were filed.

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