US citizen who served as diplomat pleads guilty in UN case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. citizen who served as a foreign diplomat from the Dominican Republic has pleaded guilty to charges in a United Nations bribery case.

Francis Lorenzo entered the plea Wednesday in New York to six charges, including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

Those awaiting trial in the case include an ex-president of the U.N. General Assembly and a billionaire Chinese businessman.

Lorenzo's lawyer says his client decided to plead guilty after reviewing the government's evidence. He says it led him to "accept responsibility for his role in the criminal conspiracies committed by him and his co-defendants."

Lorenzo is cooperating with the government, raising the possibility he can earn leniency at sentencing.

A judge had earlier ruled that Lorenzo couldn't use claims of diplomatic immunity to shield himself from charges.