World

2 ex-Bolivian officials sentenced to 3 years after guilty pleas in case of extorting American

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, U.S. businessman businessman Jacob Ostreicher poses for a photo in Los Angeles. A Bolivian judge sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 the No. 2 figure in the extortion ring that victimized Ostreicher and was exposed by actor Sean Penn. Ostreicher went to Bolivia to salvage a rice-farming venture only to be arrested in June 2011 and held 18 months without charge in a money-laundering investigation. The extortion ring drained the assets of the $25 million rice venture. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, U.S. businessman businessman Jacob Ostreicher poses for a photo in Los Angeles. A Bolivian judge sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 the No. 2 figure in the extortion ring that victimized Ostreicher and was exposed by actor Sean Penn. Ostreicher went to Bolivia to salvage a rice-farming venture only to be arrested in June 2011 and held 18 months without charge in a money-laundering investigation. The extortion ring drained the assets of the $25 million rice venture. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Bolivian judge has given a three-year prison sentence to the No. 2 figure in an extortion ring that victimized U.S. businessman Jacob Ostreicher and was exposed by actor Sean Penn.

Former government attorney Dennis Rodas previously pleaded guilty to crimes including racketeering.

Judge Ximena Flores also sentenced to three years the former director of the office for confiscated assets in Santa Cruz state. Moises Aguilar pleaded guilty to illegally selling rice confiscated from the farming business that Ostreicher was trying to salvage when he was jailed 18 months without charge in a money-laundering probe.

The New York man's plight gained attention when Penn took up his cause and got his incarceration swapped for house arrest in late 2012. A year later, Penn helped Ostreicher clandestinely flee Bolivia.