Lawyers for a former Mexican governor charged in the United States with money laundering and drug trafficking say the charges are based on false accusations by people trying to bargain with U.S. prosecutors.

Attorney Josel Androphy says witnesses against former Tamaulipas Gov. Tomas Yarrington gave false information to get leniency from the U.S. government.

Androphy spoke Thursday in Mexico City along with three Mexican lawyers for Yarrington.

U.S. prosecutors allege Yarrington received millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and in return allowed traffickers to smuggle large amounts of cocaine into the U.S.

According to the indictment unsealed this week, Yarrington first received payments when he was a candidate for governor of Tamaulipas and the payoffs continued after the end of his tenure in 2004.