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Former Mexican governor charged with money laundering, embezzling millions from state coffers

Federal prosecutors have charged a former Mexican governor with money laundering and embezzling millions of dollars from state coffers in a case that has outraged Mexicans because of reports of his extravagant spending, authorities said Monday.

The federal Attorney General's Office said former Tabasco state Gov. Andres Granier is at a hospital in Mexico City and it will be up to a Tabasco judge to decide where he will go next.

Granier, who was hospitalized 10 days ago because of chest pains, also faces state charges, the office said in a statement.

Last month, prosecutors in Tabasco found 88.5 million pesos, about $7 million in cash, in an office used by former state treasurer Jose Saiz, who served under Granier.

Current Gov. Arturo Nunez, of the opposition Democratic Revolution Party, has accused his predecessor of plunging Tabasco into debt by squandering and embezzling millions of dollars. Those claims have been strengthened by reports of extravagant spending by Granier and his inner circle.

Granier has denied the charges.

The case made national headlines after Granier was secretly recorded boasting about owning hundreds of suits and pairs of shoes and about shopping exclusively at Beverly Hills luxury stores.

After the recording was leaked to the press, Granier said he had been idly boasting because he was drunk and his claims weren't true.

Granier is a member of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI.

The PRI governed Mexico for 71 years in which it was widely criticized for corruption and authoritarian practices. It lost the presidency for the first time in 2000 but returned to power on Dec. 1 following the presidential election victory of former Mexico state Gov. Enrique Pena Nieto, who has said he will not stand for illegality.

Many Mexican politicians and union leaders openly flaunt multimillion-dollar properties, luxury cars and high-end clothes that would be out of reach on a public salary.