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Two Top DR Bank Executives Jailed

CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL., Tues. May 12, 2009: Two former top executives of the Banco Mercantil in the Dominican Republic will spend a total of eight years in jail for their role in a 2003 banking crisis  in the Caribbean nation.

Three judges on Monday sentenced former president Andres Aybar to five years in prison for embezzling tens of millions of dollars from the collapsed bank, while ex-vice president Evelyn Perez received three years.

The pair was convicted earlier this year of embezzling money, falsifying documents and manipulating data to throw off government investigators.

Banco Mercantil was one of three Dominican banks that collapsed in 2003, and led to the filing of fraud cases worth an estimated US$3 billion against various bank executives.

The 2003 crisis had caused high inflation and devaluation of the peso in the DR and the International Monetary Fund was called in to help.