Bankrupt Former Coffee King Can’t Pay Fines Imposed For Fraud Conviction
MIAMI (AP) _ Alberto Duque, once known as the ″Boy Coffee King,″ says he will appeal a 15-year prison sentence and $285,000 fine for his role in a conspiracy that prosecutors maintain defrauded banks of $85 million.
An attorney for Duque, whose coffee empire once included the Chase & Sanborn Co., said his client can’t pay the fine imposed by U.S. District Judge James C. Paine.
″My client is bankrupt so I don’t think the government has any chance of collecting,″ attorney James Jay Hogan said. ″The government cannot come ahead of the other creditors.″
Duque’s holdings, which also included the General Coffee Co., and the Colombian Coffee Co., collapsed in 1983.
Duque, 36, a member of a prominent Colombian family, was convicted Feb. 11 of 60 charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and misapplication of funds of the City National Bank Corp. in a conspiracy to get loans for his sagging company by using false reports of stored coffee as collateral. He was cleared of one count of wire fraud.
Duque faced a maximum sentence on all 60 counts of 288 years in jail. He was also ordered to pay trial costs estimated at $11,737 because many witnesses had to be brought to Miami.
His younger brother, Victor Duque, 32, convicted on a single conspiracy charge, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000.
Paine sentenced a total of 12 defendants convicted of being part of the conspiracy.
All the defendants who elected to go to trial were assessed court costs except Beatrize Restrepo, who was acquitted by the jury.
At the time of the alleged offenses, Alberto Duque was chairman of the board of the City National Bank Corp. in Miami, General Coffee Co. and the Colombian Coffee Co.
Victor Duque was president of the Colombian Coffee Co., according to the indictment.