The Americas

Ex-Guatemalan president and VP charged in corruption scheme

FILE - In this April 20, 2016, file photo, Guatemala's former Vice-President Roxana Baldetti, wearing a yellow scarf, and former President Otto Perez Molina, back center, wait for the start of a court hearing in Guatemala City. Perez and Baldetti have been formally charged on Thursday, June 16, 2016, in a sprawling corruption scheme that emptied government coffers and laundered money to be spent on Miami shopping sprees, real estate and luxury vehicles. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)

FILE - In this April 20, 2016, file photo, Guatemala's former Vice-President Roxana Baldetti, wearing a yellow scarf, and former President Otto Perez Molina, back center, wait for the start of a court hearing in Guatemala City. Perez and Baldetti have been formally charged on Thursday, June 16, 2016, in a sprawling corruption scheme that emptied government coffers and laundered money to be spent on Miami shopping sprees, real estate and luxury vehicles. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)  (The Associated Press)

Guatemala's former president and vice-president have been formally charged in a sprawling corruption scheme that emptied government coffers and laundered money to be spent on Miami shopping sprees, real estate and luxury vehicles.

The case accuses 70 people, including former President Otto Perez Molina and his Vice President Roxana Baldetti. Prosecutor Julio Barrios Prado said Thursday that the scheme involved illegal financing, embezzlement and money laundering.

Barrios told Perez Molina that the money was used to buy millions of dollars worth of goods and services. Baldetti allegedly received $38 million in kickbacks for at least 70 public works contracts.

Perez Molina and Baldetti are already jailed pending trial for another scheme in which companies paid bribes to avoid customs duties. That case led to their resignations.