Yani Rosenthal

Honduran businessman and politician, Yani Rosenthal, has allegedly turned himself over to authorities, following US indictments on money laundering charges against the Rosenthal family. The decision may be part of an attempt to safeguard the elite Honduran family’s economic and political interests.

According to a source from Honduras’ Attorney General, Yani Rosenthal has agreed to respond to an indictment for money laundering from a US Federal Court, reported La Prensa. The indictment against Yani, his father Jaime Rosenthal, his cousin Yankel Rosenthal, and Andres Acosta Garcia, a lawyer for the family’s business Grupo Continental, was released by US authorities after Yankel’s arrest in Florida on October 6.

Sources say that Rosenthal turned himself over on recommendations of his lawyers, seeking to avoid “imminent” extradition and to lessen any hardship for his father, Jaime Rosenthal, in the judicial processes, stated La Prensa. There has not yet been any confirmation of this action by US authorities or lawyers for the Rosenthal family.  

Yani Rosenthal had previously spoken out against the charges, denying any wrongdoing on the part of the family or their businesses. In an interview with the newspaper El Heraldo, Yani, who is thought to be at the center of the family’s illegal business dealings, defended the Rosenthals and their businesses against accusations of money laundering and drug trafficking.

InSight Crime Analysis

While Yani Rosenthal’s surrender has not yet been confirmed, there are a few advantages to turning himself in at this stage in the process. For one, the move to offer himself over may provide some legal protection for his father. The 79-year-old Jaime Rosenthal, who ran Grupo Continental and led Honduras’s Liberal Party (PL), is said to be in precarious health. While Yani has denied any involvement with criminal organizations, Jaime previously confirmed the family’s business dealings with the Cachiros, one of Honduras’s biggest trafficking organizations. By turning himself over, Yani might be in a better position to control the family’s statements in the investigation.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Secondly, Yani’s decision may be so as to protect the Rosenthals' conglomerate, Grupo Continental, one of Honduras’s largest economic groups. The US indictment was released at the same time as the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added three Rosenthals and seven of their businesses to the “Kingpin List,” effectively embargoing all business dealings with the family. While there are no open investigations against the Rosenthals in Honduras, Honduran officials have seized at least 16 of the family’s assets. The government has also closed the Rosenthal’s Banco Continental. Liquidation of the bank has been a major financial hit for the both the family and ordinary Honduran citizens.

Finally, Yani Rosenthal’s willing participation in the case may also be an attempt to defend his political career. Yani served as a minister under Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and unsuccessfully ran for president in the last election cycle. While the Liberal Party has voiced its support for the family in the wake of the accusations, the investigation may be a death knell for Yani’s political future.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

The Fixer and El Salvador's Missed Opportunity

The Fixer and El Salvador's Missed Opportunity

In the photograph, they are both smiling. In the foreground, on the left hand side, a man in a short-sleeved buttoned white shirt, jeans and a metal watch, holds a bottle of water in his right hand. He laughs heartily. He is Herbert Saca. On the right...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...